Sarah Bodine is back playing baseball for the ‘94 Victoria Devils

Sarah Bodine is back playing baseball for the ‘94 Victoria Devils

Bodine beats the break

Peninsula teen overcomes major injury, returns to nationals

Not only did Sarah Bodine make the catch, she never dropped the ball.

It was the first game of the 2010 Bantam Girls Fastpitch Canadian Championship held in View Royal last July.

Bodine, who recently finished Grade 11 at St. Michaels University School, was playing first base for ’94 Victoria Devils. She chased down a foul ball and caught it, but broke her leg in two places as she collided awkwardly with the catcher. The bang-up resulted in major fractures to Bodine’s tibia and fibula.

The nurse told her if the breaks were any more severe, the tendon damage would’ve been beyond repair. Bodine narrowly avoided amputation.

A year later Bodine is back, a tumultuous journey behind her. But new challenges lie ahead.

Her Devils are at the Canadian Open, playing in the U19 Futures Gold division. Their first two games are Tuesday, July 12.

Playing in the Futures Gold is a coup for his team, said coach Bruce Lubinich. However, the tourney is more about experience than winning. He isn’t counting his team out, but the opposition is not only elite but up to three years older, and he wants the team to keep realistic expectations.

As for Bodine’s presence on first base, it’s a boon, he said.

“The big thing with having Bodine back is not only an excellent ball player but someone who keeps the team together on the field and in the game.

“Her energy is amazingly huge, she gets everybody going and it’s tough to not have one of those types of players on your team.”

At the time of her injury Bodine had no idea of its extent. She lay field-side in a state of shock before going to the hospital an hour later. The team played on and eventually finished fourth.

Lubinich thinks Bodine’s injury had a lot to do with losing that game, and the team’s overall performance at last year’s nationals.

“There were about five teams, any of which could have won on a given day,” he said.

“We were rolling along (in the first game) up until Bodine’s injury, and I think the team had a hard time recovering from it. They were so concerned with her health.”

Bodine’s return is a grand achievement. The 16-year-old could easily have given up sports, as it is still early in her recovery. She also got lucky the titanium rod in her leg didn’t stunt her leg’s growth, although the injured leg is now two inches longer than the other.

During the recuperation Bodine lost 35 pounds (16 kilograms) to muscle atrophy in her lower body.

It took her five months to walk, which she had to re-learn, and another two more after that before she could run.

“I still can’t run well but I feel comfortable enough running the bases. Although, my mom says I look ridiculous,” Bodine said.

It’s been a long year, an eye-opener and a time of spiritual growth. To be back with the team means a lot more to Bodine than playing baseball again.

“It was a mental injury. Dealing with it was all (upstairs). It brought me to where I’m at now, who I am, with a lot of faith in God.”

Following the Canadian Open the ’94 Devils will challenge for the provincial title in Cloverdale. A top-three finish qualifies for the 2011 nationals in Winnipeg.

Canada cupped

Three Victoria teams are attending the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championships (formerly the Canada Cup) in Surrey, July 9-17.

The Strawberry Vale Stealth are competing in the Showcase Select (16U) International Championship. The ’93 Victoria Devils will play in Pool A of the 27-team Futures Gold U19 division.