Canada’s national softball team team prepares for Olympic bid

WBSC Softball America’s Qualifier begins Sunday in South Surrey

The Canadian Women’s National Softball Team warmed up Friday at Softball City for next week’s WBSC Softball Americas Qualifier tournament.

And while high performance director/head coach Mark Smith asserted that “the process is that it’s business as usual,” there was still a palpable sense of excitement in the air at the prospect the team could win a place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympiad.

Hopes are particularly high after the team’s silver medal performance at the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru, which included a perfect game against Venezuela (10 strikeouts without a single base-runner) pitched by White Rock’s Sara Groenewegen.

READ MORE: Olympic berths on line as Suth Surrey softball qualifier set to begin

“This is the most important softball tournament on Canadian soil,” tournament spokesperson Laura Ballance told reporters.

“We’re pleased to note that Team Canada is entering it ranked number one in the tournament and number three in the world. We’re very hopeful that this is a path to Tokyo and a gold medal.”

“In my opinion this is the best (women’s national softball) team in Canadian history,” Tournament chair Greg Timm added.

READ MORE: Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

Smith told Peace Arch News that there was no one game in the tournament the team is looking forward to playing more than the others.

“We’re keen to meet Puerto Rico again (Canada won 3-1 over the team in Lima) and also Venezuela and Mexico,” he said. “I’ve learned never to underestimate anybody. In softball one team can be having a bad day, and another can be playing their best game ever.”

Timm and Ballance pointed out that seven out of the 15 current team members are from B.C.

In addition to former White Rock Renegade star Groenewegen – who fought back to stage an impressive comeback after being hospitalized with Legionnaire’s disease (a severe form of pneumonia) last year – these players include former Renegade teammate Danielle Lawrie (who came out of retirement to contribute to the team’s bid for the Olympics) and Cloverdale’s Holly Speers.

The 12-team tournament starts with 7:30 p.m. game between Canada and Cuba on Sunday (Aug. 25), and will conclude with a “super round” (Aug. 30 to Sept. 1) to determine from among the teams the top two that will compete at the XXXII Olympic games.

Softball City is located at 2201 148 St. For more information, visit the local tournament website at americassoftballqualifier.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Police’s role in Barnston Island still needs ‘to be looked at’

Surrey RCMP polices unincorporated island a short ferry ride across Parson’s Channel

Surrey looking into reducing residential speed limits

Surrey city council on Feb. 24 approved five ‘key pillars’ of a Surrey Transportation Plan

Fate of five-district policing model in Surrey rests with new police board

Whalley/City Centre, Guildford/Fleetwood, Newton, Cloverdale, and South Surrey districts formed under McCallum’s watch in 1998

Notorious South Surrey fugitive captured in California to face murder trial in Canada

Brandon Nathan Teixeira submitted to extradition during court proceedings Thursday in Sacramento

‘We have to triage’: Surrey teachers stage ‘walk-in’ to support public education

Teachers raising awareness after more than one year at the bargaining table

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Most Read

l -->