Brandon’s Nickel to represent MB at 16U Girls Invitational Championships baseball tournament

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Brandon’s Caitlan Nickel is about to embark on a journey to represent Manitoba at the upcoming 2023 16U Girls Invitational Championships baseball tournament being held in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. The tournament sees teams from across the country competing for the title from August 24-27.

Needless to say the talented IN/OF is looking forward to the experience. “I am really looking forward to seeing how well we do, and if we could do better than last year. I think with enough hard work put in, we could definitely get a medal too this year” Caitlan told “I also always enjoy the team bonding that happens when we all get to hang out for a week and share hotel rooms which makes us all become better friends.”

Unlike most girls her age, Caitlan has never played softball. There were no softball teams near her where she used to live in Ashern MB and the closest team she could play on was a boys baseball team in Lundar.  “I have never actually played softball…I like the pitching better in baseball because no matter how many times I watch softball pitchers, I could never figure out how to do it. Another thing I love about playing baseball is peoples’ reactions when they see a girl playing on a boys team. When I go into a store and ask for baseball gear they will correct me and say, “You mean softball, right?” There is always a mix of positive and negative but I still enjoy hearing each and every one”.

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The family just moved to Brandon last summer and this was her first year playing with Brandon Minor Baseball. This past season she took to the field with a number of teams including the U15 Brandon Padres (house league team) and the U15 AA Brandon Grizzlies (the AA provincial and prospects teams). “I was a little bit scared to come to evaluations and tryouts in Brandon for the first time this year because I barely knew anyone and I did not know what would be said, but I ended up making some really great friends that took me in without complaining that they had a girl on their team.” said Nickel. “All of my teammates’ little sisters and cousins were always cheering for me as loud as they could and they were always telling me how they are my biggest fans.”

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In July she was announced to the roster for 16U Girls Provincial Team that will be competing in Summerside. In preparation for the tournament Caitlan and her team MB teammates have been having practices and exhibition games to get ready. They played the 15U Carillon Sultans in a double header a couple weeks ago, and that was their first time playing together as a team this season.  On August 10 they will play the same Carillon team again as an exhibition game, followed by another 2 practices before they make their way out to Summerside!

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“I could never be where I am now without the support and encouragement from all of my great coaches throughout my last 3 years of playing, and the support I always get from my teammates really helps keep me going! I also could not have done any of this if it wasn’t for my Mom and Dad always being my biggest cheerleaders in the stands and driving me to my games and practices”.