Softball pitcher Danielle Lawrie-Locke. (Black Press Media file photo)

SOFTBALL

Out of retirement, Lawrie-Locke makes a pitch for Team Canada success in Surrey

At Canada Cup, playing at ‘home’ at Softball City ‘makes me incredibly proud to represent my country’

On “home” turf, Langley’s Danielle Lawrie-Locke is aiming to help Canada’s national softball team get back to the Olympic Games.

The work continues at South Surrey’s Softball City from July 5 to 14 during the Canada Cup tournament, and culminates there with the Olympic-qualifier competition at the end of August.

Lawrie, 32, pitched for Team Canada at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing (they placed fourth), helped her University of Washington team win a national championship and also played pro in the National Pro Fastpitch league.

• READ MORE: Lawrie-Locke to pitch at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games in August.

Lawrie-Locke says her decision to come out of retirement in 2018, after learning of softball’s return to the Olympic stage, was a tough one, but she’s looking forward to the challenge – especially with the thought of her husband and two daughters in the stands cheering her on.

“My family has been such a calming presence to me since coming back to the sport,” Lawrie-Locke said in a news release. “Being an example for my kids, having them watch me set a goal and then be able to achieve it is the thing that drives me daily. I want to be a strong influence in their lives and raise strong children.”

• RELATED STORY: Langley’s Lawrie-Locke makes her pitch for Canada, from 2018.

Lawrie-Locke said she has fond memories of watching the Canada Cup as a kid. The tournament “really opened my eyes to the possibilities of this sport,” she said.

“I remember watching a game and thinking to myself that this is what I want to do. I hope that in some way I can be the same kind of example for the next generation of kids coming out to watch us play this summer. Coming home and playing on my home field is an experience like no other, and it makes me incredibly proud to represent my country.”

Lawrie-Locke said Canada Cup will be a great test for her and Team Canada, with all the pressure that comes with winning on home soil.

“It can be a lot of pressure, and you’re either going to crumble or step up,” Lawrie-Locke said.

“We’ll be able to learn from our mistakes and determine what we can do better moving forward for the ultimate challenge at the end of August, when we fight for a spot in the Olympics.”

In five divisions, the Canada Cup tournament will host more than 1,500 athletes for games at Softball City and also Cloverdale Athletic Park and Sunnyside Park. Event details are posted at CanadaCup.com.

• READ MORE: PHOTOS: Canada Cup action at Softball City, from 2018.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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