Saskatoon's Melissa Armstrong takes mound for Team Canada
Women's Baseball World Cup kicks off Sept. 1 in Miyazaki, Japan
Saskatoon's Melissa Armstrong takes the mound next week on her sport's biggest stage, and she says she's ready.
Armstrong is a member of the Canadian women's baseball team. They've just arrived in Japan for the 2014 Women's Baseball World Cup, where they'll compete against the likes of Australia, Venezuela, and the United States.
This is one of the best crews we've ever brought.- Saskatoon baseball player Melissa Armstrong
Armstrong was on the roster the last time the tournament was held in Japan six years ago, and she told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning she doesn't expect to be overwhelmed by the occasion.
"I've done it before. I'm more excited than I am nervous," said Armstrong, who's in the midst of completing her Ph.D. at Carleton University when she's not on a baseball diamond.
"I think this is one of the best crews we've ever brought," Armstrong added.
Canada ranked third in world
Team Canada is tied for third-best in the world, according to the rankings by the International Baseball Federation, which hosts the tournament.
At the last world cup two years ago in Edmonton, the team finished third.
Since more women play softball than baseball, Armstrong says she and many of her teammates grew up playing on men's teams — which has led to situations like not having a roommate on long road trips, or being chosen last to play catch.
But those sorts of experiences have made her and her teammates "better players overall," said Armstrong.
"All of us have gone through it, so it makes us a better team," she said.
The tournament's first round gets underway Sept. 1, with Canada taking on the Netherlands. The gold medal game is Sept. 6.