Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staffKelsey Lalor for Danny’s feature-Red Deer Bantam AAA Brave Kelsey Lalor drives in a run on a first inning base hit against the St. Albert Cardinals during baseball action at Great Chief Park Wednesday.

Lalor in a league of her own

It should come as no surprise that Kelsey Lalor is developing into one of the top young female baseball players in the country. Lalor was hanging around a baseball park before she could walk as her father, Dwayne, played close to 25 years with the Red Deer Riggers.

It should come as no surprise that Kelsey Lalor is developing into one of the top young female baseball players in the country.

Lalor was hanging around a baseball park before she could walk as her father, Dwayne, played close to 25 years with the Red Deer Riggers.

“I grew up at the ball diamond, played since I was little and I enjoy it a lot,” said the 15-year-old, who got her first taste of international baseball earlier this month.

Lalor competed for Team Alberta at the Canadian open women’s baseball championships and was one of three 15-year-olds invited to play for Team Canada in a series against Japan.

“They expanded the national team roster to 30 players and divided it into two teams,” explained Lalor, who played for Canada Red along with veteran National team pitcher Heidi Northcott of Rocky Mountain House.

Japan also fielded two teams and the Canada Red squad beat a Japanese team 10-3 in the bronze medal game, during which Lalor had two hits.

She finished with four hits in five games with three RBIs.

None of the players knew if they’d be with the national team until after the Canadian championships, but Lalor felt she had a shot at making the team.

“Last year I played for Alberta at the (U16) bantam championships and received the top offensive player award,” she said.

“National team head coach Andre Lachance saw me there and so when they said they were expanding the roster to 30 players for the Japanese series I thought I had a chance of getting one of the open spots. But then you never know. I was certainly glad I did. It was a great learning experience.”

Lalor has played boys’ baseball since she started with the game and felt the pitching she sees on a regular basis helps considerably.

“I’ve never played against women that age, but the pitching I see in bantam AAA is close to the same,” she said. “There’s a difference for sure, but I felt comfortable there.”

Lalor mainly plays infield with the Red Deer Servus Credit Union bantam AAA squad, but found herself in centre field with Team Alberta and right field with the national team.

“It was different, but I enjoyed it and now I’m comfortable there,” she said. “I do play the infield with my team, but I can work in the outfield during batting practice.”

She also spent as much time as she could watching her teammates with the national team.

“I watched as much as I could when they were at hitting and in the field. I tried to see what they do in certain situations and I was able to pick up some key things, little things that will help me.”

As for making the national squad next season, that’s up in the air.

“They usually don’t announce it until after the open championships. Next year they go to the World Championships so it will be tough, but I’m going to try my best. Some day I definitely would like to play at the worlds.”

Outside of baseball Lalor, who is heading into Grade 10 at Lindsay Thurber, plays basketball and volleyball. She was also a strong ringette player, but has quit the sport to concentrate on school athletics. She’s attending the RDC volleyball camp this summer and looks to try out for the senior team at LTCHS in both court sports. The senior girls’ basketball team is coached by her mother, Kathy.

“That will be fun,” said Kelsey, whose sisters — Hayley and Jamie — also play baseball. Hayley is also with the bantam AAA Braves while Jamie was with the Red Deer North Star Braves that just won the provincial peewee AA tier III baseball championship.

The bantam AAA Braves finished the home portion of their regular season at Great Chief Park Wednesday, losing 5-4 to St. Albert in the seventh.

Griffin Moline went the distance for the Braves, allowing five runs on six hits and no walks while fanning five.

Brad Pope had a pair of singles while Jordan Muirhead added a single and a RBI triple. Austin Hammond added a pair of singles and an RBI, Zach Olson a run-scoring single, Parker Booth a single and Hayley Lalor two walks.

The Braves play in Okotoks today and host the provincials, Aug. 2-4.

Just Posted

Updated: Trial stalls for man accused in fatal Canada Day 2016 crash

Defence lawyer argued relevant information received only hours before trial to begin

Sylvan Lake council passes 2019 budget

Tax rate increase of 2.74 per cent set for this year

Big-time entertainers to perform in Red Deer during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Musicans announced include Strumbellas, k-os, Brett Kissel

WATCH:2019 Canada Winter Games torchbearers announced

Sixteen torchbearers announced with others to be revealed during Opening Ceremonies

Police chief confirms all three Ottawa bus victims were on board when it crashed

OTTAWA — All three people killed in last week’s deadly bus accident… Continue reading

UPDATE: Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Theresa May wins no-confidence vote after Brexit deal rejection

UK PM can keep her job, after House of Commons voted 325-306

Alberta doctor accused of sexual assault asked to voluntarily give up practice

College says Dr. Barry Wollach should discontinue his practice, given the seriousness of the allegation against him

Speedy acceptance of Saudi shows refugee system’s flaws

Who would not wish Rahaf Mohammed well? The 18-year-old Saudi wants to… Continue reading

Hertl’s hat trick leads Sharks past Penguins 5-2

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Tomas Hertl needed just three games to get… Continue reading

Starring role beckons for Canada’s Alphonso Davies at Bayern Munich

BERLIN — Canadian teenager Alphonso Davies could be thrown in at the… Continue reading

Bus singer gives voice to Venezuela’s growing diaspora

LIMA, Peru — A year ago, Venezuelan migrant Reymar Perdomo was singing… Continue reading

Most Read