AMHERST – Carly Jackson can’t help but be excited.
The 15-year-old Hastings native is about to put her talents up against the best in the country as a member of Team Nova Scotia at the 2012 Baseball Canada Bantam Girls Championship tournament this weekend in Bedford.
Jackson has been selected to be the starting pitcher in Nova Scotia’s opener on Thursday at 7 p.m. against Quebec.
“It’s a tremendous honour, it’s pretty cool to be able to help my team as much as I can in a pretty important game,” said Jackson, who will also play goaltender for Team Nova Scotia in this year’s Atlantic Challenge Cup in October. “I’m really looking forward to the challenge. It feels pretty cool to be playing for my province.”
Jackson, who also played this summer with the Amherst Bantam Red Sox, will also play third base and shortstop for Team Nova Scotia.
“It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve been able to represent my community on the team and play a lot of baseball,” she said, adding she is thankful for the support she has received from little league and the Amherst Lions Club.
Coach Brandon Guenette is looking forward to capitalizing on last year’s success and winning another medal.
“In order to improve on last year’s finish we must play with confidence and believe we can compete with the big provinces,” he said. “The skill is there. We have a deep pitching staff and are tough outs at the plate. The girls are learning how to play the game right and that has benefitted us playing against top level boy’s teams.”
The team has played a number of exhibition games against A and AAA teams to prepare for the tournament and improve on the bronze medal finish last season.
Jackson, who came up through the Amherst Little League baseball system, said playing at a high level has helped prepare her for the Nova Scotia team.
“Carly has been a pleasure to have on the team,” Guenette said. “She has been our most consistent pitcher and will be relied upon in our big games. It’s impossible to match her work ethic and it shows in the results she’s seen.”
Nova Scotia also plays Friday at noon against Newfoundland and Labrador and at 6 p.m. against Manitoba.
Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Chicago Pioneers are the other teams in the tournament.
The games can be followed at www.baseball.ca/bantamgirls.
It will be a busy weekend for Jackson, who is also trying out for a spot on the Pictou Weeks Major Midgets.