1997 Guelph Pidel Midget Girls Softball Team
This was a very special group of young women. In their first year together, many of them were underage players, but they somehow managed to make it to the national finals in Vancouver where they finished 7th. Two years later they returned to the national stage, this time in London. After a slow start to the season they really began hitting their stride in July and finished second in Ontario to their archrival Erin Mills. “Throughout the year we could never beat Erin Mills, so we certainly weren’t the favourite going to the Nationals” said Dave Vallance who coached along with Dino Fraresso, Andrew Cherry and Mike St. Pierre.
Led by team captains Danielle Everitt and Jen McCarthy, the team found themselves on championship day needing to beat Erin Mills once, then unbeaten Surrey, BC twice. Pitcher Melissa Brooks took the ball in the first game and never gave it up, pitching an astounding 22-straight innings, including two straight shutouts over Surrey. In that final game, McCarthy drove in the winning run while Brooks completed her masterpiece by spinning a 3-0 win.
Two members of that team Angela Lichty of Guelph and Sommer West of Oshawa went on to play for Canada’s National softball team where they hope to qualify for the Athens Olympics this summer. Everitt went on to win the CIS Women’s National basketball championship with Victoria this year.
This team had the perfect blend of talent and heart to make them national champions.
Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Team category – on May 7, 2003