WBSC Americas Qualifier

Photo Credit D. Laird Allan/Sportswave

Given all the hype for the Americas Qualifier, it’s fitting that opening day finally arrived attracting a good size crowd.

The opening game featured Peru take on Mexico two of the 12 teams attending – or I should clarify there are only 10 that managed to arrive as two Argentina and the British Virgin Islands were unable to attend.

The competing teams consist of the following and are separated into two Groups (A & B). 

       Group A                                    Group B

  • Canada                                Mexico
  • Puerto Rico                        Brazil
  • Cuba                                    Venezuela
  • Guatemala                          Dominican Republic
  • Bahamas                             Peru

With the top two teams advancing to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics the pressure is naturally on Team Canada, given the fact that they are playing on home soil.

Head Coach Mark Smith mentioned “His team is well prepared for this caliber of ball and we know that pressure is on us to perform in front of out fans and in some cases family.”

The first day was not without issues that involved some areas, but all were soon sorted out thanks to Kelly Gleeson who was very helpful with all questions Sportswave “threw” his way.

First up for the media was information regarding both on and off field instruction regarding areas we were permitted to go and where to avoid.

Seating for the media was prime as they had us located directly behind home plate in the first row, which was well worth the price of admission.

The opening ceremonies began at six with the dignitaries being introduced on Diamond 1 followed by the introduction of the Eagle Song Dancers from the Squamish Nation who  sang the Wolf Song as their welcome to everyone at the opening ceremonies at the WBSC Americas Olympic Qualifier.

This was followed by the welcome comments from some of the dignitaries, then the opening pitch delivered by Tricia Smith, President of the Canadian Olympic Committee to Team Canada catcher Natalie Wideman.

Once the opening ceremonies were completed it was time to “dust up the diamond” and get it ready for the opening game that featured Cuba taking on Team Canada.

While we don’t want to give it away, Cuba was in deep facing the third ranked Team Canada arriving late due to Visa issues at Customs – but they made it!!

True they literally trounced being outplayed on the diamond allowing 2 runs in the first inning, 15 runs in the second and keeping Cuba off the scoreboard in the top of the third that officially ended the game giving Canada their first victory.

Canada has Monday off which gave the players a chance to visit with Family and Friends, but getting back to  the hotel for their evening team meeting.

Monday saw three games take place all on Diamond 1 that saw Brazil take on Peru at 3:30 for the first of three games on Day 2 of the WBSC Softball Americas Qualifier.

Sportswave attended the opening media day (Friday) at Softball City and Laird was able to grab some excellent photo, one of which was used in Saturday’s Vancouver Sun and Sunday’s Province paper for which we are grateful.

Thanks to Vancouver Sun and Province!!!