By Adam Morissette
OTTAWA – Baseball Canada is pleased to announce the names of 31 athletes invited to participate in the Women’s National Team’s 2017 summer program. The athletes were selected from the Women’s Invitational Championships in Windsor, Ont., that was won by Ontario after a 15-8 win over Alberta in the gold medal contest.
Athletes, coaches and staff will travel to Washington, D.C. and will be split into two teams with each playing a four-game series against two teams from USA Baseball from August 9 to 13. At the halfway point of the series, on August 11, both Canada and USA will combine their squads to play a true “Canada vs USA” exhibition contest.
“We’re very excited to have this opportunity and to partner with USA Baseball on an event that will promote growth and development for both programs,” said Women’s National Team manager André Lachance. “With 2017 being a non World Cup year, it is crucial for our program to expose as many athletes as possible to international baseball and the highest levels of the women’s game. This event will provide our coaching staff with another opportunity to evaluate talent as we prepare for the next Women’s Baseball World Cup in 2018.”
Lachance returns to his managerial chair that he has held since the Women’s National Team programs’ inception in 2004. Former big leaguer Aaron Myette returns to the staff to handle the pitching coach duties as he did in 2016, while Sheen Bromley, Scott MacKenzie and Patricia Landry return to the staff from 2016. Former National Team player Karine Gagné will join the staff as a guest coach.
Of the 31 athletes named, 16 have previous experience with the Women’s National Team program, including 14-year veterans Kate Psota (Burlington, Ont.) and Ashley Stephenson (Mississauga, Ont.) who have been with program since the inaugural season in 2004 and have played in all seven WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cups and the 2015 Pan Am Games. The roster also includes left-handed pitcher Claire Eccles who made headlines earlier in 2017 after becoming the first female to play in the West Coast League as a member of the Victoria (BC) HarbourCats. Fourteen players named to the roster helped Canada win a silver medal at the 2016 WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup in Gijang, Korea while nine are holdovers from the 2015 squad that captured a silver medal at the Pan Am Games. Fifteen athletes named to the roster will be participating with the program for the first time.
Schedule: Canada vs USA Series
*All times eastern
August 8 Canada Practice 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
August 9 USA 1 vs Canada 1 11 a.m., USA 2 vs Canada 2 4 p.m.
August 10 USA 2 vs Canada 1 11 a.m., USA 1 vs Canada 2 4 p.m.
August 11 USA vs Canada 6 p.m.
August 12 USA 1 vs Canada 2 1 p.m., USA 2 vs Canada 1 6 p.m.
August 13 USA 1 vs Canada 1 11 a.m., USA 2 vs Canada 2 4 p.m.
The complete 2017 Summer Development Program Women's National Team roster can be found here.