Softball Canada has announced the women’s national team roster that will represent the country at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo this July – and it features plenty of names familiar to South Surrey sports fans.
Among the 15 players listed are numerous players with Semiahmoo Peninsula and Surrey-area connections – former White Rock Renegade pitchers Sara Groenewegen and Danielle Lawrie and Delta’s Kelsey Harshman (formerly Jenkins) – while a slew of other players have played in multiple Canada Cups, which in pre-COVID-19 times was held each July at Softball City.
Canada Cup organizers announced Wednesday that this year’s event has been cancelled.
Among the returning veterans are Jennifer Salling, Natalie Wideman, Victoria Hayward and Larissa Franklin, as well as pitcher Lauren Regula, who pitched for Canada at the 2008 Olympics and is coming out of retirement for this summer’s tournament. She also came out of retirement to play for Canada at the 2016 Women’s World Softball Championships, which were held in South Surrey.
Three alternates were also listed by the team, including Abbotsford’s Callum Pilgrim.
Canada qualified for the 2020 (now 2021) Olympics after finishing in the top-2 at a qualifying event held in Surrey in 2019. Softball was last played at the Olympics in 2008; Canada finished fourth.
“The naming of the Olympic roster is another phase completed in our 2021 gold medal mission,” said Groenewegen in a news release.
“I am excited for the opportunity to represent Canada with the 14 other women named to the team. It takes a village to prepare for the Olympic Games, and even though 15 women were named to this roster, there were countless other people involved to prepare us for this moment.
“We are excited and ready for the chance to make history at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”