Birch Island’s Savannah Dee celebrates with some of her Team BC teammates after winning bronze medals in U16 softball at the North American Indigenous Games in Toronto recently. Pictured are (l-r) Hunter Lang of Port Moody, Dee, Katelynn McDonald of Chilliwack and Kathleen Natrall of North Vancouver.

Savannah Dee helps Team BC win bronze

Birch Island resident plays for Softball U16 team at North American Indigenous Games in Toronto

Birch Island’s Savannah Dee played for the Team BC Softball U16 team at the North American Indigenous Games, held in Toronto, Ontario from July 16 – 23rd.

“Savannah had the time of her life,” reported her mother, Marie Dee. “She had a tremendous amount of community support, as she had to raise money for her team. This community is absolutely amazing.”

Savannah joined Breanna Billy, Chase U16 and Jordyn Edwards, Kamloops U19, plus 11 other girls from around the province at the games. B.C. sent four softball teams to the games – U16 Girls, U16 Boys, U19 Girls and U19 Boys.

There were approximately 5,000 athletes from all over North America who participated in a multitude of sporting events.

These are the areas where the athletes came from: Alberta, B.C., California, Colorado, Connecticut, Eastern Door and the North, Florida, Maine, Manitoba, Minnesota, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, New York, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario, PEI, Saskatchewan, Washington, Wisconsin and the Yukon.

The softball competition took place at Turner Park in Hamilton, Ontario. There were nine teams divided into two pools – Pool A: California, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Wisconsin, and Manitoba; Pool B: Ontario, B.C., Eastern Door and the North, and New York.

Dee’s first game on Monday July 17 was against New York. Team BC won 7-3. Tuesday July 18, they played against Team Ontario and B.C. won 6-0.

Wednesday, July 19, B.C. played against the Eastern Door and the North. This province won 25-0 and the game was mercied in the third inning.

Otherwise, all games were played to seven innings, all innings were open innings (no limit to runs scored per inning). This brought Team BC to the semi-finals.

Team Ontario was first in B.C.’s pool, Team BC was second. Both advanced to the semi-finals.

California was first in pool A, Wisconsin was second. Team BC as in fourth position overall and had to play California, who was in first with the winner to advance to the gold medal game. The winner of the Ontario versus Wisconsin game would also advance to the gold medal game. Unfortunately, California won 13-0 and B.C. went to play against Wisconsin for the bronze.

Team BC and Wisconsin were very evenly matched. The game was scoreless until the top of the sixth inning, when Team BC brought in two runs.

B.C. held them down in the bottom of the sixth. The provincial team did not score any more runs in the seventh and had to hold them down again for their last at bats, which they managed to do for the bronze medal. It was very exciting.

Team BC won the overall team title at the North American Indigenous Games, with a total of 176 medals (65 gold, 57 silver, 54 bronze) over the course of the competition week. This put the team 12 medals ahead of second place Team Saskatchewan.