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Canada Cup Hit’s A Home Run

Photo Credit D. Laird Allan/Sportswave

It’s that time of the year again for everyone to step up to the plate and hit a home run, rather than strike out sitting on your back porch doing nothing.

Call it an annual event or the yearly home run played out at Softball City which is known for the world class Canada Cup Women’s Fastpitch.

This year will see teams from around the world compete that will see them welcome a team from Ukraine that competed at the 1994 ISF Women’s World Championship in St. John’s Newfoundland.

That year they finished sixth and have not qualified in any play since then, but did manage to compete at the 2019 Women’s European Softball Championships where they finished 20th.

Given the state of the world and what the country is going through we have to applaud the Chairperson for the Canada Cup Greg Timm.

Earlier at the media day Greg mentioned to me that when he first got the call about attending, he was somewhat surprised and the longer the conversation went he knew that the Canada Cup committee would make this happen.

When he first reached out he clearly never knew what type of response he would get from the community, but it was overwhelming to say the least.

From the outset they received over 500 individual donations reaching their target goal of $60,000 in just over a week and strangely had to say no to more.

He did mention that one person offered up $50,000 to assist to which he mentioned that he would get back to him only if they failed to reach their target goal, which wasn’t needed.

He mentioned to us earlier at the press event “We can’t thank the community enough for embracing Team Ukraine with open arms and helping bring them to our tournament.” 

He continued “We have been blown away by the generosity of people from across the country as these young women have faced tremendous strain during the ongoing war and your financial support allows them to come to Surrey and play the sport they love on an international stage.”

Honestly speaking you can tell by his comments how professional this event is and it goes from the committee, the facility staff as well as all of the volunteers.

As they enter its 30th year we have seen various changes, all of which allow this world class event to continue to grow with more teams on the waiting list and this year has over 1,500 athletes competing.  

This year once again features Sara Groenwegen who when not on the mound enjoys both volleyball and basketball.

Team Canada’s OF Callum Pilgrim  RHP Sara Groenewegen playing in her 10th Canada Cup.

Prior to attending Minnesota she played for Team Canada, Junior Team Canada, Team British Columbia, the White Rock Renegades, and the Northwest Sidewinders.

In 2013 she won the Province Head of the Class Award and was part of three national championship teams, three provincial championship teams and managed to pitch a perfect game at provincials. 

Other local favorites include Delta’s Kelsey Harshman, Lauren Benson, Emma Dorval, Kianna Jones, Madelyn  McKinnon from Surrey along with Callum Pilgrim, with other local talent in the line-up.

Team Canada is led by Guelph’s Kaleigh Rafter. Chris Jones (Oshawa) as well as Port Coquitlam’s Jenn Salling all of whom have years of experience behind them. 

Let’s not forget that Sara Groenewegen, Emma Entzminger (Victoria) and Maple Ridge Larissa Franklin played on the bronze medal-winning Canadian Olympic team in Tokyo two years ago that won Bronze as well as Silver at the 2019 Pan-American Games.

Coach Rafter Steve Ewen/Steve Erickson

Despite the cancellation in both the 2020 and 2021 they managed to win the tournament in 2018 and 2019.

For the first time the Canada Cup will serve as a qualifier event for the Alliance Fastpitch Championship Series with the winners from the Gold Divisions earning a berth or bye in August 2023 at the Championships.

Set the date on your calendar and take in exciting Women’s Fastpitch from Softball City!!

Team Ukraine Schedule: (All games are at Softball City)

Monday, July 10th – Ukraine vs Delta Heat 04 – 8:30PM – (Diamond 2)

Tuesday, July 11th – Ukraine vs Fraser Valley Fusion 05 – 10:30AM –

(Diamond 4)

Tuesday, July 11th – Ukraine vs Aloha Breeze 18U – 3:30PM – (Diamond 1)

Wednesday, July 12th – Ukraine vs GA Power Gold 04 – 2:00PM –

(Diamond 2)

Thursday, July 13th – Ukraine vs Prairie Renegades U19 – 10:30AM –

(Diamond 2)

Thursday, July 13th – Ukraine vs Snohomish Shock 18U – 3:30PM –

(Diamond 2)


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