The University of British Columbia

UBCO Heat softball club captures Canadian championship on home turf

(Photo Credit: Julie Pringle/Snap Photography)
(Photo Credit: Julie Pringle/Snap Photography)

KELOWNA, B.C. – In just their third year of existence, the UBCO Heat softball club are Canadian champions after they defeated the St. Clair Saints 5-4 in extra innings at High Noon Park on Sunday to capture the Canadian Collegiate Softball Association (CCSA) Championship.

Nevada Johnson drove in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning to play hero for the Heat as they capped off an impressive season that saw them post a 23-2-1 record, including a perfect 6-0 at the national championship.

"I couldn't be more thrilled for this university, the UBCO Heat softball program and this outstanding group of young women," said head coach Joni Frei following the victory. "Winning a national championship is an incredible experience but winning a national championship in front of your home crowd, on your home turf in just your second official season is something these girls will be proud of and remember for the rest of their lives."

After dominating the round robin offensively, scoring 50 runs in five games, the Heat struggled to get much going offensively against the Saints, one of two teams representing the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA).

After falling behind 1-0, the Heat scored three runs in the bottom of third inning, highlighted by an RBI single from Jessica Podskalny. However, the Saints would tie the game with two runs in the top of the fourth and that scoreline would hold through seven innings.

The two teams would each score a run in their half of the eighth inning and after Podskalny held the Saints scoreless in the top of the ninth, the stage was set for Johnson and her heroics in the bottom half of the inning.

Gabriela Isaak led the way offensively on the afternoon for the Heat with three hits while UBCO was helped along by three errors from the Saints.

Shae-Lyn Murphy was the top performer for the Saints, knocking out two hits including the two-run homerun that tied the game in the fourth.

Following the tournament, five members of the Heat were named to the Championship All-Star team including Johnson, catcher Cassidy Kellow, second baseman Janessa Hanson, and outfielders Taylor Roeseler and Kasey Wright.

"This is the most selfless team I have ever been a part of," added Frei. "Our juniors and seniors lead the way and our sophomores and freshmen followed closely behind. They bought into a 'championship team-first' mindset early and never looked back."

CCSA Medalists
Gold – UBCO Heat
Silver – St. Clair Saints
Bronze – Calgary Dinos

CCSA Championship All-Stars

Team Name Pos.
UBCO Nevada Johnson P
UBCO Cassidy Kellow C
St. Clair Amy Claydon 1B
UBCO Janessa Hanson 2B
Humber Alexia Ferriera 3B
St. Clair Shae-Lyn Murphy SS
Regina Kat Bear OF
UBCO Taylor Roeseler OF
UBCO Kasey Wright OF
Calgary Brooke Stoilen OF