Sara Groenewegen (left) and Danielle Lawrie-Locke have both been listed on the roster for Softball Canada’s national women’s team. (File photos)

Surrey, White Rock players dot Canadian national softball team roster

Organizers expect to hear soon if Surrey has been chosen to host Olympic qualifier tournament

Softball Canada announced Friday its list of athletes who’ve advanced on to the next phase of the selection process for the women’s national team roster for 2019.

And as has been the case in recent years, the list of players contains a handful of players with Surrey and White Rock connections.

Among the 24 players listed by Softball Canada in a news release are White Rock Renegades alumni Sara Groenewegen, Larissa Franklin and Danielle Lawrie-Locke, Surrey’s Holly Speers and Delta’s Kelsey Jenkins.

All five players were members of the national team last summer.

For Groenewegen, being back on the field with the national team is marked improvement from how her softball season ended last year. During last year’s Canada Cup, she fell ill, was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease and missed the rest of the season while recuperating.

“I’m very lucky and extremely grateful for another chance to represent my country, especially after the events that happened this summer,” she tweeted Friday morning.

Other notable names on the list that will be familiar to fans of the annual Canada Cup tournament – held each July at South Surrey’s Softball City – include national team vets Jenn Salling, Lauren Bay Regula and Natalie Wideman.

The player roster was determined by the coaching staff following a selection camp held in Fort Myers, Fla. earlier this month.

• READ ALSO: Canada beats Triple Crown for Canada Cup title

While the national squad – coached again this year by Mark Smith – works to form its team for the summer schedule, Softball Canada continues to wait on a decision from the World Baseball Softball Confederation, which is expected to announce soon the host city for the 2019 Americas Olympic qualifier tournament.

The WBSC decision has been delayed multiple times since last summer, when Canada Cup chair Greg Timm announced that Surrey would bid on the tournament.

The WBSC meets this weekend in Rome, and a qualifier announcement is expected by next week at the latest.

Should Surrey be selected, a tournament – featuring Canada and other nations aiming for a spot at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo – would be held in late August. Two Olympic berths will be up for grabs at the event.



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