CORNER BROOK Myla Burt is only 14 years old, but her sports resume speaks of a seasoned veteran.
The Corner Brook teenager will get to showcase her baseball talent when she suits up with the Newfoundland and Labrador Bantam Girls Baseball Team at the 2012 Baseball Canada Bantam Girls Invitational Championship Aug. 23-27 in Bedford, N.S.
The daughter of Corner Brook's Peter and Sheila Burt is in her second year with the provincial squad. Last year the team won gold at the Hammonds Plains Invitational in Nova Scotia, an event the team participated in because there wasn't a national tournament in the bantam girls bracket in 2011.
Burt plays with the western girls' basketball team, will wear Western's colours on the female soccer team at the Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games in Harbour Grace later this month and this past summer she was a member of the provincial 15 & Under female volleyball team that participated in the Eastern Elite Volleyball Championships.
Spending time at the baseball field is something Burt grew accustomed to at the age of five years old when she picked up her first baseball.
She grew up at Jubilee Field playing on male teams at the AAA level since she was old enough to play T-ball and spent a scattered night hanging out at the ballfield when her dad was playing in the senior baseball league back in the day.
"I went with the same girls last year to a tournament and it was a lot of fun, so I'm really excited to go again this year with the same group," Burt said earlier this week of the venture that awaits her.
Listed on the team's roster at five-foot-seven and 130 pounds, Burt is a versatile player who can play the infield and outfield, but also brings a strong arm to the team's pitching staff.
Oh, and those in the know of female baseball circles will say she can handle the bat.
Cog in the engine
While she is considered a key cog in the team's engine, Burt doesn't put any pressure on herself to perform.
She likes to have fun and play hard, and lets the rest take care of itself.
"I just want to go up and do my best and have fun with the team," she said.
Burt may be a little bit reserved to talk about herself and her skillset, but her coach Bob Morgan of St. John's had no qualms with talking about what one of his prized athletes brings to the table.
"She's a very gifted young lady with a lot of talent," coach Morgan said. "She adds to our pitching depth, she is one of our top batters and she's an excellent defensive player."
Coach Morgan expects Burt and the girls to hold their own against some of the top teams in the country as well as an entry from the United States — the Chicago Pioneers.
He recognizes that Newfoundland and Labrador teams will always be in tough against mainland teams because of population and more importantly because of low numbers on the female side of the game, but he wasn't about to concede defeat before they even left the Rock.
"We're going up to give them the best game that we possibly can," Morgan said.
"We feel that we can be competitive and we have an opportunity to win one, maybe two games. We're going up with an attitude to win, not defeated before we step off the Rock."
Newfoundland and Labrador will battle Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, Nova Scotia and the Chicago Pioneer in a single-round-robin format. Burt and company will open the tournament Thursday against Manitoba.