Bronze Medal Rally


Sydney Barry admits her heart skipped a beat when she was told she would be starting the bronze medal game at the Baseball Canada Women’s Nationals.

Just a few hours after Team Alberta lost 9-1 to Quebec in the semifinals, the Fort McMurray product was being thrown into the biggest game of her young career.

“I couldn’t believe that our coach put his faith in me to pitch for bronze,” Barry told Alberta Dugout Stories. “As soon as the nerves all settled down, I knew I had to be ready to pitch 110 percent for my team.”

The 16-year-old turned in a fantastic 108-pitch performance, striking out four as Alberta edged the hosts from Nova Scotia 5-4 to claim a spot on the podium.

“Having my teammates with me every step of the way, always picking me up and us being so close as a team definitely helped the nerves and stress,” she said.

“I knew nothing was going to stop me from helping my team bring back the bronze.”

She says while everyone might have been feeling all the peaks and valleys of what turned into an action-packed week, you would have never been able to tell in that final game.


To say that the tournament in Halifax and Upper Sackville was a rollercoaster for Team Alberta might be a massive understatement.

They opened things up with a 10-3 loss to British Columbia in the opener on July 27, following that up with a 7-4 victory over Ontario the following day, where they scored five runs in the final inning to complete the comeback.

On July 29, Alberta lost 8-3 to Quebec to finish the round-robin with a 1-2 record, setting themselves up for a date with Saskatchewan in the quarterfinals.

“The whole weekend was very stressful but our team was so tight that nothing was going to stop us,” Barry said. “If there was an error in the field or an out at the plate, we were picking up our teammates up right away.”

The quarterfinal was an offensive barnburner, with runs being scored in all but one inning.

Alberta was down 10-9 heading into the seventh inning when they scored four to go up 13-10. Saskatchewan tried to come back one more time, scoring two before ultimately being stymied.

“We seemed to love giving everyone’s heart a jump start, that’s for sure,” laughed outfielder Cassie Matlock.

“We really had to adopt the mindset that pressure is a privilege, and fought hard to overcome tough losses and the uncontrollables.”

The win also set the stage for a rematch with Quebec in the semifinals.


Despite having played Quebec just a day earlier, Alberta wasn’t able to break through with hits, mustering just four in a 9-1 loss on the morning of July 30.

That set the stage for the bronze medal matchup with the host Nova Scotia that afternoon.

Each team scored one run in the first, then traded scores throughout the game. Despite being out-hit 12-9 by their opponents, the Alberta defense stepped up to help their young starter.

Leading 5-3 going into the bottom of the seventh, Barry took to the hill one more time.

“Being able to go out and pitch the final inning was unbelievable,” she said. “I’ve never pitched over 100 in my career and I was speechless getting to do it in such a big game for Team Alberta.”

After giving up one run, Barry was able to get Nova Scotia’s Katie Hagen to pop up to shortstop Madison Willan for the final out.

“I dropped to my knees and started crying,” said the young righthander. “When I could feel my teammates around me screaming and cheering, I knew I did my job and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

That sentiment was echoed by others on the team, including Cydnie Moore, who said the team came together before their pre-event, which she believes helped pull them through the tough times.

“We came into this national tournament with one goal – to bring home a medal and we did it,” she said via Instagram messenger. “It was like a dream – we had worked so hard to get to where we were and we played for each other.”

Alberta last won bronze in 2019 when the tournament was held in Okotoks, then finished in 5th in 2022, as the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the tournament in 2020 and 2021.


Barry has become a poster-child of sorts for an Alberta team which featured several younger players who have a bright future in the game and will push for roster spots on the Baseball Canada Women’s National Team in years to come.

Being able to represent their province at the tournament was a dream come true for many.

“Just being able to play with a team of girls at such a high level is amazing,” said Barry. “Bringing home a medal is an amazing feeling, especially since our team deserves it after working so hard every game just to get there and push through every up and down thrown our way.”

The tournament was also the first for Matlock, who had spent the majority of her career playing softball, including the last few seasons with the University of West Alabama.

She was impressed with how hard the team worked, especially with how young the roster is, and she believes Alberta has a bright future that she hopes to be a part of in the years to come.

“I’m so honoured to have been welcomed into this program so enthusiastically,” Matlock said. “Despite this being my first year on the baseball field, I immediately felt like my presence was valued and celebrated.”

Moore, meantime, is one of the veterans of the team, and says the young roster fought tooth-and-nail all tournament.

“We were all playing for the same reason and with some serious intensity, even with an awful 14-hour layover in Montreal before the tournament,” she said. “It showed how much determination and perseverance we all really had.”

Moore is hopeful the mindset and results help inspire the next generation of baseball players in Alberta that they can achieve great things beyond their own communities.


At the end of the four days, Baseball Canada announced its roster for the Women’s National Team.

The 20 athletes will represent Canada at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s Baseball World Cup Group A in Thunder Bay from August 8-13.

Willan and fellow veteran Kaitlyn Ross of Redcliff were the Albertans named to the roster, which includes 13 veterans and seven rookies.

“It’s a huge honour to represent your province and then go on to represent your country,” Willan told Alberta Dugout Stories. “I’m excited to keep the momentum going from nationals and carry that on through into Thunder Bay.”

While she didn’t make the team this year, Barry hopes this year’s national tournament becomes a springboard for her future.

“After this year, I know that I can have a shot at Team Canada,” she said. “During the offseason, I’m going to be working hard to become a better ball player – this was such an amazing experience and I can’t wait for the next few years.”

Barry’s season isn’t over, however, as she will be part of the host team playing in the Baseball Canada 18U National tournament in Fort McMurray August 17-20.

Canada will open up play against Mexico on August 8, before taking on Hong Kong, USA, South Korea and Australia.


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