Dort brings home Atlantic banner

COOK’S COVE: Even though she hasn’t played baseball for all that long, Vanessa Dort helped represent Nova Scotia twice this summer by suiting up with no fewer than two provincial teams. And in one case, she and her teammates brought home an Atlantic banner.

“It was quite the trip,” she told The Reporter last week, speaking of her trip to the Baseball Atlantic 14U Girls Championship in Newfoundland. “Our record was 3-1, and the only game we lost was to the team we beat in the finals.”

It was St. John’s that Nova Scotia dropped in the championship final. More than one team from the host province were attending the tournament, as well as teams from New Brunswick and P.E.I.

The championship ended with Nova Scotia winning 10-5, but the game was back-and-forth all the way through. Nova Scotia started with a lead, and then St. John’s overtook them. In the final inning, the bluenosers rallied to take the banner.

“Our gloves were in the air all over the field,” Dort said. “Everyone was out of their seats. It was crazy.”

One of the keys to victory was that St. John’s played things a little less cautiously with pitch count, so that some of their best arms were unable to play the final game. That wasn’t the case with Nova Scotia.

“A lot of their pitchers were done by the time our championship game came and we still had most of our pitchers,” said Dort, who pitches and also plays centre field.

Interestingly, Dort hasn’t been playing baseball all that long. Her accomplishments in softball (she’s been playing high level softball since she was four) must have turned heads at Baseball Nova Scotia.

“I got an e-mail from them inviting me to the tryouts,” she said. “I said ‘why not’ and ended up making the team.”

Dort also participated with the U16 Baseball Nova Scotia team that went 2-4 at Nationals. Nova Scotia hosted the event in Bedford.

“We did really well for a team that was just getting to know each other,” she said. “We played some exhibition games, but for a big tournament like that, we really pulled it together.

“I think we had a really good showing.”

She added that competing with two provincial teams made for a fair bit of road work, especially considering how far she lived from Halifax, where all the tryouts, games, and practices took place. However, thanks to family, the travel and accommodations were a bit easier.

She stayed with her aunt and uncle in the city, meaning no hotel stays were required.

Dort is now back to hitting the books at Chedabucto Education Centre/Guysborough Academy but, knowing her love for sports, it won’t be only mental muscles she’s flexing over the school year.

“There’s not a time when I’m not playing sports – basketball, volleyball, badminton, tae kwon do, track, curling,” she said. “I’m always into something.”