MEDICINE HAT, AB – She’s become one of the fastest rising stars on the national stage over the last few years, but Kaitlyn Ross is just happy to get the chance to return home every once in a while.
The Redcliff product hit the diamond at Jeffries Park for four games over the weekend, visiting Medicine Hat with the Notre Dame Academy Hounds out of Wilcox, Saskatchewan.
The Hounds went 1-3 against the Monsignor McCoy Colts and Medicine Hat High Mohawks, however Ross was on the mound for Notre Dame’s lone win on Saturday 20-11 against McCoy.
A veteran of the American Legion system, Ross said she relishes the chance to face her summer league teammates as a member of the Hounds.
“It’s always fun playing against kids that I’ve always played against,” said Ross. “Kind of having the upper hand of knowing all these kids, because I grew up playing with them. So, it’s always interesting and always competitive too, you always want to win so you can have bragging rights over each other.”
Ross has been a force all season long for Notre Dame, leading the Hounds with a sky-high .523 batting average, seven RBIs, and just one strikeout in eight games.
This comes after a breakout campaign last year for the 17-year-old, who was named to Canada’s national women’s baseball team and earned a bronze medal at the 2018 Women’s Baseball World Cup.
She said that experience wearing the maple leaf at the national level will help her grow her skills even more this year.
“It definitely gives me a great boost of confidence,” she said. “But also leadership too, because I have been to another level and being able to help my teammates as much as I can with that experience that I have.”
Another big test lies ahead for the local star, as Ross will be donning the blue and yellow of Team Alberta at the 2019 Women’s Invitational Championships in Okotoks.
Ross said she’s gotten to a place in her game where these provincial and national competitions aren’t quite as daunting as they were before.
“It’s good because then people will know my name and who I am,” she said. “I’ll have that confidence again with me and that experience. I know what it takes, so I know what you have to do and how hard you have to push to make that team.”
Ross added she’s excited to play another season with the local K of C Knights once her high school season with the Hounds comes to an end.
Mohawks score big against Notre Dame
Not much stood in the way of the Medicine Hat High Mohawks on Saturday, as they swept Ross and the Notre Dame Hounds in a pair of league games at Jeffries Park.
Medicine Hat racked up six runs in the third inning in Saturday’s early afternoon opener, led by a trio of RBIs each from Felix Miller and Tory Nelson to earn a 9-3 win.
Ashtyn Street was rock solid for the Mohawks with no earned runs given up over four and one-third innings, while Street struck out six Notre Dame batters.
That success carried over to the back-half of the double-header, with Medicine Hat dominating the Hounds en-route to a 12-3 victory.
After trailing by a 1-0 count after the first inning, the Mohawks exploded for 10 runs over the next three innings with Kobe Coderre and Josh Stark leading the offensive push with five combined RBIs.
Coming off his strong performance in the early meeting, Nelson earned the win on the mound with only four hits and one earned run allowed over four innings of work.
Sitting third in the division with a 5-2 record, the Mohawks head to Vauxhall on Tuesday night for a titanic clash with the Vikings.
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