BWIC Turks and Caicos Islands 2017 Softball Champions

Hon. Josephine Connolly with Myah-Audae and Nichole

This year’s National High School Softball Tournament took place at the Downtown Ball Park from Wednesday 25th to Friday 27th January 2017.

Over the years, the competition had been dominated by Marjorie Basden HS from South Caicos, but this year the Ladybugs were challenged by seven more schools from across the islands, including strong teams from British West Indies Collegiate, HJ Robinson HS, and the 2016 champions, TCIPS.

British West Indies Collegiate softball champions 2017

Destiny Missick (center), Back-catcher Myah-Audae Simpson (left), Captain and Pitcher Nichole Watkins (right)

On Day 1 of proceedings it was clear that Pool B was going to be tense, with HJ Robinson’s Steelers, Marjorie Basden’s Ladybugs and the Collegiate’s Spartans all drawn to face each other. BWIC, with a mix of experienced and novice players, were too efficient for Marjorie Basden in their opening fixture. A strong batting line up, led by Myah Audae Simspon, Sanadia Forbes, Lanae Williams and Svennae Williams, eased the Spartans into a commanding 29-0 lead at which the Marjorie Basden coach forfeited the game. The second game for BWIC was set to be another competitive game as they faced the well-fancied HJ Robinson’s Steelers. With HJ Robinson batting first, the BWIC girls were asked to dictate the outcome of the game. The Spartans followed the example of their Captain, Nichole Watkins who, through accurate and pacey deliveries from the pitcher’s mound, reduced the Steelers to scoring just three runs in their first innings. Tamia Robinson, Synese Robinson and Selena Grant should also be recognised for their tireless efforts in the field during this innings. BWIC again put on a faultless batting performance to score 11 and, with time against HJ Robinson, could only add two further runs before time was called and an 11-5 victory was recorded for the Spartans.

Starting Day 2 at the top of their pool, BWIC knew that complacency was their only stumbling block against an improving Wesley Methodist HS team. Changes were made to allow for other members of the team to get game time. After a tight first innings, the BWIC team rallied to a 15-4 victory against the well-supported opposition side: the Spartans had now won their place in the final against Clement Howell’s Killer Bees, the winners of Pool A.

The Championship game was brought forward to midday and, upon arrival at the ground, there was little evidence of nerves from the BWIC team; there was confident anticipation in what was to come. The game was played over three innings. The first of these was tight and the Killer Bees remained in control, but after the whole team batted through the line up in the second innings, BWIC took the upper hand. Clement Howell came out to bat for a third innings, but a fired up Collegiate team restricted the Killer Bees to a total of 11, meaning an innings win for this talented team. The final score was 19-13 making BWIC the 2017 Softball Champions. Never before had BWIC won the title. Every girl on the BWIC team should be congratulated as all played their part in securing the championship. It was a privilege to play against our worthy opponents, and every participating team should be congratulated on making this tournament such an exciting event.

British West Indies Collegiate softball team 'The Spartans' in 2017 pose for their team photo in the Turks and Caicos Islands

The Spartans with coaches Tom Fielding (right) and Nelson Jimenez (left) and assistant coach Destiny Missick (wearing a white T-shirt)

Head of BWIC Physical Education, Tom Fielding, said after the tournament, ‘Since day 1, this group of girls has been focused on winning the title. They enjoy a great friendship and work hard for each other. On the field, the senior girls were instrumental in helping, encouraging and supporting our younger players, and I am very proud of them all.” We would like to thank Señor Jimenez, Keith Cox, Destiny Missick and Roydoya Robinson (two former students of BWIC) for all their efforts in coaching and assisting the team. Furthermore, the Spartans would like to dedicate their victory to Latrivia Grant, a British West Indies Collegiate alumna and superb softball player, who passed away unexpectedly last December.