A 15-year-old Waterford Valley High student is heading to Los Angeles this weekend for the first-ever Trailblazer Series, a three-day girls baseball tournament organized by MLB and USA Baseball.
Andrea Turner has been playing baseball for more than half her life, first putting on a glove when she was just seven years old.
"I just saw people playing the game, and I saw it on TV and my mom played softball," she told the St. John's Morning Show.
"Then when I started playing … I just clicked with it."
Going to America
Though she's a dedicated local and provincial player — who only takes two months off each year — Turner was still surprised last Friday when she found out she was picked to join 100 other female players for the Trailblazer Series in California.
The under-16 tournament will feature girls from 20 American states, but Turner was the only Canadian picked to head to sunny Los Angeles this weekend. The series was organized in memory of MLB baseball legend Jackie Robinson, and will take place at Major League Baseball's Youth Academy in Compton, California
Turner is a dynamic player who can play nearly any position, and is looking forward to the competition. But her main goal is to absorb as much knowledge as she can from the female coaches of the American team, who will be working with them.
"I just want to learn from them, because they've been to a lot of places and know a lot about baseball," Turner said.
"I only started playing first base last summer, so I hope when I go down there they can give me some tips."
Turner is often on the road playing baseball and, recently, her father passed away when she was in the middle of a tournament.
Despite the grief, she said it didn't deter her from stepping up to the plate the following day, to play perhaps her most special game yet — which ended in her being named Most Valuable Player for Team Newfoundland and Labrador.
"It was the best game I ever played, I hit two doubles. I never expected that to happen," she said.
"So every time I go to practice, I'm thinking about him and I put in 100 per cent. I think that he would be very proud."