MEDICINE HAT, AB – Kaitlyn Ross has worn plenty of different jerseys over the past year.
From the Medicine Hat K of C ‘A’ Kings, to the Notre Dame Hounds, to even Team Canada, Ross has blown away expectations at every level she’s played at.
Now, the 18-year-old is set to swap her Medicine Hat uniform for a Team Alberta jersey ahead of the 2019 Canadian Women’s Invitational Championships.
Ross will be leaving the Knights later this week to join her 13 other Alberta teammates, as they look to capture a gold medal on home soil in Okotoks.
“I haven’t seen these girls in a year and this is always my favourite tournament,” said Ross. “Playing against the other provinces and competing for gold, it’s always competitive.”
Ross has only played in four games of American Legion action this summer with the Knights after wrapping up her hockey and baseball seasons with the Notre Dame Academy Hounds in Wilcox, Saskatchewan.
Although she said there was a bit of rust to get through after close to a month away from the diamond, the Redcliff product said she’s getting back near the top of her game.
Which is a good sign for Ross, as following the Women’s Invitational tournament the best players will get the call for Team Canada’s selection camp for the upcoming Women’s World Baseball Championships.
Already earning a bronze medal at the 2018 Women’s Baseball World Cup with Team Canada, Ross has a good shot at making the camp but said it all comes down to how well she performs.
“You want to perform,” she said. “You don’t want to mess up here and then ruin your chance of making that team. You obviously want to perform well so you get selected to that camp afterwards.”
What makes this upcoming tournament more special for Ross is that it takes place less than three hours down the road in Okotoks, which will allow her family to come and watch.
Already one of the highest profile baseball athletes to ever come out of the Medicine Hat system, Ross said she’s more than ready to face the best young talent that Canada has to offer.
“I think my confidence has gone up definitely, knowing that I have represented my country and have been playing for my province for a while,” she said. “I know my position well, I have a lot of confidence in the coaching that I’ve had now.”
Listed at both catcher and short stop, Ross will take to the diamond at Women’s Invitationals on July 4 to open the tournament against Team Ontario.
CHAT Sports spoke with Ross ahead of her next appearance in a Team Alberta uniform about her ascent to the provincial and national baseball stage.
Redbirds get the best of Knights
As for Ross’ Knights squad, they couldn’t contain a potent Lewistown Redbirds offence over the weekend suffering a pair of losses 13-8 and 11-9.
In the opener on Saturday night at Jeffries Field, the Redbirds got out to a 10-2 lead after just two innings and were able to weather a five-spot from Medicine Hat in the fifth inning to take the win.
Josh Stark was 2-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs in the loss, while Hayden Hall took the loss on the mound with seven earned runs allowed over just one inning of work.
Medicine Hat once again found themselves down by a 10-0 score early in the back half of the double-header, but were able to engineer a furious comeback in the seventh inning.
The Knights saw five runs cross home plate to pull within two runs, but Redbirds pitcher Kyle Lee was able to get Ben Van der Sloot striking out to end the game.
Stark continued his exceptional night with another trio of RBIs which brought his one-day total to six, which was followed up by RBIs from Cale Ferguson, Carter Krauss, Carson Sauter, Wyatt Study, and Ross.
Sitting at 9-13 on the season, the Knights re-ignite their rivalry with the Lethbridge Miners on Tuesday night for a pair of games in Medicine Hat.
As for the Medicine Hat ‘AA’ Moose Monarchs, they play a two-game set south of the border on Canada Day Monday versus the Helena Senators.
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