Road To The Olympic Games

Softball

Canada names Olympic women's softball team

Softball Canada has announced the 15 athletes that will represent Canada at the Tokyo Olympics. It's been over 12 years since softball was last played at the Olympics. The sport was not featured at London 2012, or Rio 2016.

Canadians are ranked 3rd overall and are medal favourites in Tokyo

Victoria Hayward, pictured hitting an inside-the-park grand slam against Guatemala in 2019, has been part of two Canadian teams which captured silver medals at the Pan Am Games. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Softball Canada has revealed the 15 athletes that will represent Canada at the Tokyo Olympics. 

"There is no greater privilege than to wear Canada across your chest and represent the most amazing country and fans," catcher Kaleigh Rafter said in statement released alongside Wednesday's announcement.

"For me, this is the last step in a 14-year journey that dates back to 2007," the native of Guelph Ont., said "I want to give a big thank you to my family who has supported this dream of mine since the very beginning."

It's been over 12 years since softball was last played at the Olympics. The sport was not featured at London 2012, or Rio 2016. 

In 2008, in Beijing, Canada narrowly missed the podium with a fourth-place finish. 

Pitcher Sara Groenwegen, from Surrey, B.C., says the team is excited to mark its Olympic return.

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"It takes a village to prepare for the 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 [in Tokyo]."

Canada will be a strong medal contender at the Olympic softball tournament which will run from July 22 to July 27. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press )

Canada is ranked third in the WSBC Women's Softball World Rankings and has won three bronze medals – including back-to-back bronze in 2016 and 2018 – over the last five world championships. 

The team booked its Olympic spot after finishing in the top two – along with Mexico – at a September 2019 Americas qualifier event in Surrey, B.C.

The Olympic softball tournament will take place July 22 to July 27 at the Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium and the Yokohama Baseball Stadium.

Players named to Canada's softball team:

  • Jenna Caira - Toronto
  • Emma Entzminger - Victoria
  • Larissa Franklin - Maple Ridge, B.C.
  • Jennifer Gilbert - Saskatoon
  • Sara Groenewegen - Surrey, B.C.)
  • Kelsey Harshman - Delta, B.C.
  • Victoria Hayward - Toronto
  • Danielle Lawrie - Langley, B.C.
  • Janet Leung - Mississauga, Ont.
  • Joey Lye - Toronto
  • Erika Polidori - Brantford, Ont.
  • Kaleigh Rafter - Guelph, Ont.
  • Lauren Regula  - Trail, B.C.
  • Jennifer Salling  - Port Coquitlam, B.C.
  • Natalie Wideman - Mississauga, Ont.
  • Alternates: Karissa Hovinga — Edmonton; Callum Pilgrim — Abbotsford, B.C.; Morgan Rackel — Calgary.

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