Canada names Pan Am women's softball team
Players hope to defend the gold medal won in Toronto in 2015
There may not be a Olympic spot on the line in Lima, but the Canadian women's softball team will be treating the Pan Am Games as an important final tune-up before their last chance to qualify for Tokyo 2020.
Softball Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee announced the roster nominated to compete in Lima on Monday, a team that will look to defend their gold medal won in Toronto in 2015.
"2015 was a special year for our team after winning gold on home soil in Toronto," pitcher Jenna Caira said in a release. "Our program has since grown even stronger, both on and off the field and I am excited to compete in Lima to defend our title.
"It's important to continue looking forward in our development, but also embrace these amazing moments the 2019 Pan Am Games have to offer. It is an honour and privilege for our softball team to represent Canada alongside other fellow Canadian athletes this summer."
"I am very proud to have the opportunity to represent Canada in Peru, and it is something only a select number of people get to do," said Sara Groenewegen. "Getting the chance to play at another Pan American Games is an honour, especially after all of the hard work we put in this off season. Toronto (in 2015) was a life changing experience. It was the closest experience to the Olympics that our team has had since 2008, so to be a part of a team that has another chance to live out that experience is really exciting. We are hopeful that the Games will be another step up in our preparation for the Olympic qualifier in August, and we are extremely excited to represent Canada in Peru."
Softball at Lima 2019 has no direct impact on Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games but is an important final tune-up in preparation for the WBSC Americas Softball Qualifier, scheduled to begin on Aug. 25 in Surrey, B.C.
The Canadian women's softball team is currently competing as the Canadian Wild of Southern Illinois in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) League.
The athletes nominated to Lima 2019 are as follows:
- Jenna Caira (Oak Ridges, Ont.) – Pitcher
- Emma Entzminger (Victoria) – Infield
- Larissa Franklin (Maple Ridge, B.C.) – Outfield
- Jenny Gilbert (Saskatoon) – Outfield
- Sara Groenewegen (White Rock, B.C.) – Pitcher
- Victoria Hayward (Toronto) – Outfield
- Danielle Lawrie (Langley, B.C.) – Pitcher
- Janet Leung (Mississauga, Ont.) – Infield
- Joey Lye (Toronto) – Infield
- Erika Polidori(Brantford, Ont.) – Outfield
- Morgan Rackel (Calgary) – Pitcher
- Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, Ont.) – Catcher
- Jennifer Salling (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) – Infield
- Holly Speers (Surrey, B.C.) – Infield
- Natalie Wideman (Mississauga, Ont.) – Catcher