Power-hitting lefty Gavin Currie adds a strong offensive ingredient to Team BC, 19U softball squad competing at the 2023 North American Indigenous Games. (Tennile Lachmuth photo)

Quesnel’s Currie keeps catching softball success

NAIG the latest home run for local player

Gavin Currie was a winner with Team BC even before her plane took off for Halifax, where a bronze medal awaited her.

The 18-year-old is a utility catcher for Team BC’s 19U girls’ softball outfit that fought for Turtle Island supremacy at the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) held on the Kjipuktuk and Millbrook First Nations, territories of the Mi’kmaq peoples.

Currie is a southpaw power-hitter and a savvy pitch caller, as well as one of the vocal spirit lifters in the game. She was team captain of the Prince George Thunderbirds team that won the coveted Jon Cho Tournament last year, in which she was named top batter. Also in 2022, she was on the 5th place team at the Indigenous Canadian Championships, plus behind the dish for the Canada Cup in 2022, to go along with provincial championship appearances every year from 2018-23. She is also associated with the U19 Kelowna Heat organization.

She was also a competitive ringette player, soccer player, and decorated swimmer (fun fact, she has coached Quesnel’s NAIG swimmer Elise Jonasson).

“My personal role model is my sister,” said Currie. “She plays with UBC-Okanagan Heat and has found great success. They were named national champions at a collegiate level in 2021 and placed 3rd in the following year. She missed her opportunity to play on Team BC at NAIG due to COVID so I will be playing for her.”

Currie would also have been on that 2020 squad, both girls’ names already on the roster when the pandemic struck. Her brother also played in the 2017 NAIGs. Currie said she was carrying on a family tradition, with her sport of highest choice.

“My family was what influenced me to play softball. Generations of women in my family have played and I wanted to continue the tradition. As soon as I stepped on the field, I fell in love with the game.”

That was 14 years ago at age four.

The Metis Cree descendent is looking forward to making new friends and expanding her knowledge of the sport in a high-pressure environment.

“I’m excited to experience my culture on a large scale, soak in any wisdom I can, and playing some fantastic softball,” she said. “I want to learn more about where my ancestors came from and their practices, as well as how to apply them to my future.”

Sustainability is a passion she has, and the reason she will be pursuing a Bachelor of Science at UBC next year, aided by the Presidential Scholarship she earned to attend.

In the first Team BC game, Currie was catcher for the 9-2 win over Alberta. Currie also went 2-for4 at the plate.

Their second game was against Saskatchewan. Currie is commonly the batterymate of Quesnel/Prince George pitcher Corina McClure who was on the mound for this matchup, but this time Currie was at 1st Base for B.C.’s 8-5 win. Currie also hit .300 in three at-bats.

When B.C. dropped a game to Manitoba, Currie was only on the field for part of the game, but she was back behind the dish the next day for Team BC’s 13-0 shutout victory over Nova Scotia. Again, she hit .300.

With their 3-1 record in the round robin portion of the tournament (trailing only Manitoba and New Mexico), Team BC qualified for the playoffs. They started off with a 2-1 quarterfinals win in a dramatic rematch with Saskatchewan, pitting them up against unbeaten Manitoba in the semifinals. McClure was tapped to pitch this all-important game; Currie was put at critical 1st Base. B.C. came up just short of knocking off the powerful Manitobans, dropping the game 6-4.

That sent Team BC off to the bronze medal game, only to have epic storms erase the ability to play. Organizers opted to award bronze medals to both Team BC and Team Ontario as a fair finish.

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