BASEBALL: Team Canada pitcher feels right at home at Surrey’s Softball City

SURREY — Sara Groenewegen is no stranger to the Canadian Open Fastpitch International.

The 21-year-old pitcher from White Rock is heading into her third season on the mound for Canada’s senior women’s team, set to throw some fast ones over home plate during the 10-day July tournament. Groenewegen grew up near Softball City.

"I get to play in my backyard – I live, like, five minutes away from the park. It’s a really cool experience to get my friends and family out to the field," she said. "When I’m playing in Oklahoma or California, it’s just like other games, but here, I get to play in front of my friends and family."

With eight seasons with the White Rock Renegades under her belt, Groenewegen is returning to the diamond where she learned to throw. The University of Minnesota sophomore currently pitches for the school’s Gophers, and based on last season’s stats, she chucks one heck of a fastball.

Coming off of a 49-11 season with the Gophers, Groenewegen posted 17 doubledigit strikeout performances, including a school-record 19 strikeout game against Indiana’s Purdue University. In the circle, she had second highest win (31) and strikeout (379) totals in school history, ending the season with recognition from the National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association as a Second Team All-American.

That’s the type of performance she hopes to bring to Softball City as the fourthranked Team Canada tries to clinch the gold from returning champions Team Japan, who are looking to five-peat in the tournament.

"We’ve got to have confidence that we can beat them and do the little things right."

Competition kicks off Friday (July 3).

Team Canada starts against the NJCAA All Stars on Tuesday (July 7). The team is also scheduled to face Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and, of course, Japan, throughout the week.

All told, 47 games will be played leading up to the final on July 13.

For more information and to purchase tickets, go to

Just Posted

Out with a roar: Dinosaurs take over forest at Surrey school on last week of class

Six colourful creatures painted by Grade 3 students led youngsters on an expedition in the outdoor classroom

Animal advocates yowl after Delta cat severely injured in trap

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Surrey city council cost taxpayers nearly $1M in 2018

That includes more than $151,372 in expenses from the former council

The end is near for North Surrey rec centre, meaning programs will move to other facilities within 4km

Plan is for the site of the aging rec centre to become mixed-use ‘Centre Block’ development

Street dance competition outdoors in Surrey on first day of summer break

DJ, prizes, activities, a food truck and more Friday at Surrey City Hall Plaza

SQUEEZING SURREY STUDENTS IN: The causes and impacts of overcrowding in city schools

Special series: How growth is affecting students, parents and school staff alike – and what the future holds

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Plane veers off runway, into ditch at Langley Airport

Fire, ambulance, and police are on scene

Okanagan RCMP bike patrol rolls up on alleged stolen vehicle from Burnaby

The driver, a 30-year-old Kelowna man, has been held in custody and is facing possible charges of possession of stolen property and obstructing a police officer

Most Read