Maria Palmegiani, pictured while batting for the NCAA’s Fort Wayne Mastodons, is one of three players from Surrey selected to Canada’s national women’s junior team. (Photo: Aaron Suozzi/Fort Wayne Mastodons)

Trio chosen to play for Canada at World Championships

Three from Surrey will wear the maple leaf at Softball City

A trio of young players have been selected to Softball Canada’s Junior Women’s National Team, which will compete next month at both the Canada Cup in Surrey and the Junior Women’s World Championship in Clearwater, Florida.

Danielle de Ruiter, Grace Messmer and Maria Palmegiani were the three local players among the 17 selected. The final roster was announced Monday (June 12) following a Selection Camp in Cloverdale earlier this month.

The national team will gather in Surrey early next month, and compete at the Canada Cup July 8-16 at Softball City. The World Championship is July 24-30.

Palmegiani and de Ruiter were teammates on the Delta Heat ’98 team which qualified for the U18 Women’s Canadian Fast Pitch Championship in Lloydminster, Alberta last summer. Both players were selected to the tournament all-star team, Palmegiani as a catcher and de Ruiter as a shortstop.

Palmegiani hit .375 with four RBIs in eight games, while de Ruiter batted .421 with a team-high nine RBIs.

Both players are at American universities on softball scholarships. Palmegiani is a member of the Fort Wayne Mastodons of the National Collegiate Athletic Association in Fort Wayne, Indiana, while de Ruiter is in her freshman season with the Pensacola State Pirates, a National Junior College Athletic Association University in Pensacola, Florida.

Messmer helped the Surrey Storm to the a U16 national championship in Montreal last summer. Playing shortstop, she batted .400 in eight games played with three doubles and a pair of RBIs.