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Number 33 shines bright to help Richmond Islanders seal bronze

The 2005 Islanders did #33 Cat Wheatley proud in the annual memorial tournament at London Steveston Park
The 2005 Richmond Islanders batted above their age to win bronze at the 2022 Cat Wheatley Memorial Tournament

The number 33 was front and centre for the Richmond Islanders’ 2005 U17 girls on the weekend.

At the club’s own Cat Wheatley Memorial Tournament at London Steveston Park, the girls – competing against players two or three years older – took home a bronze medal after a pulsating match-up with the South Delta Invaders.

But it was not lost on the players, parents and, indeed, the late Cat Wheatley’s parents, that the bronze-medal game was played on the diamond 3 – which was renamed diamond 33 for the tournament to reflect Wheatley’s number in her playing days with the Islanders. 

Number 33 plays part in winning run, on diamond 33

And fate was also to the fore as the Islanders’ batter, Rebecca Wosk -who sent the ball flying past second base to allow runner Marley Goodhew to score – wore number 33.

Wheatley was a long-time Islanders player and coach, who passed away in April 2016 from injuries sustained in a car accident. She was just 22 and was volunteering as an assistant coach at the time. 

On the weekend, the 2005 Islanders won two games and lost one in the round-robin portion of the tournament, which was cut short by a rainout on the final morning.

Islander Players of the Game for the round-robin included Lindsay Lim, Izabel Taylor, and pick-up player Kyla Sagert. The team’s round robin performance was good enough to see them go into the playoff round placed fifth. 

The Islanders faced the Kelowna Heat in their first playoff game on Sunday afternoon and they sent Kelowna home by winning 3-2 with Islander player of the game recognition going to Takara Orange.

The Islander’s second playoff game was against eventual silver-medallist Langford Lightning, with the Islanders going down 5-3, sending them to the aforementioned bronze-medal game.

International rules triggered

The girls went five innings, only to be tied 2-2 after reaching the 80-minute time-limit for the game, which triggered international rules, with each team placing a runner on second base when at bat.

South Delta batted first but failed to score, opening the door for the Islanders to seal the deal.