Best buds and fastpitch teammates Elizabeth Murphy and Courtney De Adder are gearing up for a busy summer on the ball diamonds, starting this weekend in Surrey.
Murphy, 14, from Pitt Meadows, and De Adder, a 13-year-old Maple Ridge resident, made one of two Zone 3 teams taking part in the BC Summer Games fastpitch tournament. Maple Ridge's Taylore Jones is also on their team.
Maple Ridge's Calli Birch and Paige St. Pierre are playing on the second Zone 3 squad.
The local contingent will go for Games gold Friday and Saturday at Cloverdale Athletic Park.
The Zone 3 teams were formed after a pair of tryouts. The final audition included a series of exhibition games in Surrey.
This is De Adder's second appearance at a Summer Games event. At the 2010 Games in Langley, she played on the Zone 3 girls soccer team that captured silver.
"It was so much fun," De Adder said, "just getting to know the other players."
Less than a month after the Games, Murphy and De Adder will be alongside their White Rock Renegades 98 teammates at the U14 peewee girls national championships, being held Aug. 14-19 in Brampton, Ont.
The Renegades earned a spot at the nationals by winning the provincial title in Richmond.
In the championship game, the Renegades edged the Surrey Storm 98 by a 1-0 score.
Murphy, who shouldered much of the pitching load during the tournament, earned the save by holding Storm hitters scoreless over the final two innings.
The B.C. title game could have ended earlier than it did, if you ask some Renegades' supporters.
Murphy threw a potentially game-ending pitch that the White Rock fans believed to be a strike, but was called a ball by the umpire.
"All the parents got up and started screaming because they thought it was a strike," Murphy recalled.
"Everybody was so excited because they thought it was going to be the strike three."
Her next offering forced the Storm batter to ground out to first to end the game and secure the B.C. title for the Renegades.
The Renegades and Storm both earned spots at the nationals, due to their one-two finish at the B.C. championships.
This will be the first national championship appearance for both De Adder and Murphy, who prac-tically grew up together playing fastpitch. They have played on the same team since they were both eight years old.
"I'd really like to medal [at nationals]," said De Adder, who plays both first and second base (she played second base for most of the B.C. tournament games in Richmond).
Away from the diamond, Canada's Wonderland and Niagara Falls are tantalizingly close to the tournament site.
De Adder and Murphy are unsure if they'll make it to the tourism hot spots.
"I don't think we have that much time," Murphy said.
"We play like, a game a day," De Adder added.