STELLARTON – Two local female softball players who have played together most of their lives are taking their talents with a Softball Nova Scotia provincial team to the Softball Canada Under-21 championship this week in Summerside, P.E.I.
Pitcher Kelyn Palmer from MacLellan’s Brook and catcher Hilary Taylor from New Glasgow are on one of the two split squads taking part in the tournament that starts today and ends on Sunday.
“It’s pretty great,” Taylor said. “I’ve been playing with Kelyn (for eight years) so it’s a great experience. I’m very excited and nervous, but I hope I make the team for 2017.”
Softball Nova Scotia is using the tournament to help select the province’s female team that will compete in the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.
A third Pictou County resident, Courtney Smith, is on the other split squad.
Palmer and Taylor completed their last practiced with their team on Sunday in North River.
“It’s hard to get them in one place,” Palmer said. “With the two teams, they’re still trying to decide through the national tournament and make another cut (later) in August for the Canada Games team.”
Palmer explained how she tried out for the team last summer. She said she’s glad Taylor has been her catcher on the team.
She’s been playing ball for 14 years, Taylor for eight years. Palmer will turn 19 in November, while Taylor will be 19 in September.
“It’s good to be playing with Hilary,” Palmer said.
Palmer uses four pitches – a curve, change-up, drop and rise – and feels she likes the curve best. She said she’s glad to have been playing softball through her youth.
“Getting to meet new people, playing against strong players and the experience of it is what I enjoy,” she said.
“We’re so familiar with each other,” Taylor said. “She’s a very strong pitcher. She throws all her pitches very well. I’m pretty confident in her.”
Pitcher Kelyn Palmer, left, and catcher Hilary Taylor form a valuable battery for their provincial girls U-21 team. (Goodwin photo)