File photo                                Team Canada’s Larissa Franklin makes contact with a pitch during the 2017 Canada Cup. This year’s event is set to take place July 5-14.

File photo Team Canada’s Larissa Franklin makes contact with a pitch during the 2017 Canada Cup. This year’s event is set to take place July 5-14.

Canada Cup set for first pitch in South Surrey

Annual fastpitch tournament one of two international softball tournaments planned for summer

The summer of softball is set to begin in South Surrey.

The Canada Cup – the first of two fastpitch events set for the city over the next two months – will hit the field Friday, with youth and international women’s teams set to take part, Canada’s national team among them.

As in previous years – the Canada Cup has been a fixture on the July sports calendar since 1993 – the event will include Futures (under 18) and Showcase (under 16) divisions, with teams taking part from not just across Canada and the United States, but even further afield – including Great Britain this year.

Last year, the host White Rock Renegades ’99 took top spot in the Futures tournament with a win over Chinese-Taipei.

A women’s international division will again be among the highlights of the event, though this year will be without a few Canada Cup mainstays, such as Japan and Australia, due to teams having other commitments worldwide as they all vie for one of four remaining spots in the 2020 Summer Olympics.

“Some teams have chosen to stick a bit closer to home as they prepare (for qualifiers),” said Greg Timm, the chairperson of both events.

However, a handful of North and South American teams that would normally take part in the Canada Cup – Mexico and the Dominican Republic, among others – will be in Surrey in August, when Softball City hosts the 2019 Americas Olympic qualifier event, which will send two teams into the Olympics.

The crowd favourite Canadian national team will be at both the Canada Cup and the qualifier, and will be among the top contenders to win both tournaments.

Other teams set to play in the women’s division include national teams from Chinese-Taipei, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Republic of Korea and Great Britain, as well as Canada’s junior national team. One Canadian club team, Alberta’s Calahoo Erins, will also compete, as will U.S.-based club teams Scrapyard International (Texas), Team Mizuno Impulse (Texas) and Triple Crown Colorado.

Last year, Canada defeated Triple Crown in the championship game.

Despite some international teams taking a pass this year – and two more, China and Philippines, pulling out late due to international, governmental disputes that Timm said “go far beyond softball” – this year’s event will still be the biggest in its history.

Between the three divisions, the tournament will feature 105 teams, more than 1,300 youth players and 450 games will be played. More than 450 volunteers are also involved in the event, Timm said.

As is always the case, Canada’s national team will be the biggest draw.

“We get great support for our Canadian team. People want to come out and wave the Canadian flag,” said Timm.

This spring, the Canadian team – which features a bevy of players with local connections, including Cloverdale’s Holly Speers and former White Rock Renegade pitchers Sara Groenewegen and Danielle Lawrie-Locke – has been preparing for its busy summer schedule by playing in the U.S.-based National Pro Fastpitch league.

Branded as the Canadian Wild, the team has been based out of Marion, Ill.

“They’re doing very well right now – our team is just fantastic,” Timm told Peace Arch News last month.

Born and raised in White Rock, Groenewegen was first called up to the senior national team during her Grade 12 year in high school and has been a key part of the squad ever since.

She is more than familiar with the fields at Softball City and knows that playing in a large tournament at home is something to not take for granted.

“It’s a special feeling returning to Softball City, representing your country. I am fortunate in being able to enjoy this kind of experience,” said Groenewegen.

“It’s been quite the journey and we’ve experienced so much excitement and disappointment, but I think in the end it’s only made us stronger and more determined heading into Canada Cup.”

The Olympic qualifying tournament, meanwhile, is set for Aug. 25-Sept. 1. It will feature eight teams in two divisions. The official draw for that tournament was announced by the World Baseball Softball Confederation in late April.

This year’s back-to-back tournaments will make for the biggest, most high-profile summer of fastpitch on the Semiahmoo Peninsula since 2016 when the City of Surrey – led again by Timm and his group of organizers and volunteers – hosted the Women’s World Championships, which saw a record 31 teams compete at Softball City.

The United States won that tournament, and successfully defended their title last summer in Japan, as well. Canada finished third in both 2016 and ’18.

For information on the Canada Cup, visit www.canadacup.com, or for tickets, email info@canadacup.com or call 604-536-9287. Children under five years old are free.



sports@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Canada CupOlympicsSoftball

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A recent seizure that included drugs, cash and a firearm from two serparate incidents on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. (Photo: Surrey RCMP handout)
Surrey RCMP seize drugs, cash and gun over the weekend

Police say items were seized during two different incidents

Anita Huberman, CEO Surrey Board of Trade. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey Board of Trade calls for ‘immediate’ government help for businesses shut down

‘Don’t punish all businesses for the sins of a few,’ CEO Anita Huberman says

The 3D Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Mammography machine, new to the Surrey Breast Health Clinic at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. (submitted photo)
New 3D breast-cancer technology in Surrey ‘has already helped so many women’

Digital breast tomosynthesis new to Surrey Breast Health Clinic

Stephanie Cadieux, recently re-elected as MLA for Surrey South, has been named BC Liberal Caucus Chair. (contributed photo)
Surrey South MLA Stephanie Cadieux named Liberal caucus chair

Longtime MLA confident BC Liberals will present an effective opposition

(Photo: Amy Reid)
VIDEO: 2020 Community Leader Awards recognize Surrey’s unsung heroes

They don’t often receive recognition and don’t necessarily have a high profile in the community

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Police lights
Vancouver elementary school locked down after unknown man walks into classroom

Police arrested the man and sent him for a psych evaluation

(Pixabay)
All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Liberal interim leader Shirley Bond speaks to reporters from Prince George via Zoom conference, Nov. 24, 2020. MLAs are being sworn in for the legislature session this week, many of them also by video. (B.C. legislature)
B.C. Liberal leadership contest will wait for election post-mortem

Interim leader set to face NDP on payments for COVID-19

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Tabor Home in Abbotsford records 8 deaths and 124 COVID-19 cases

63 per cent of residents at long-term-care facility have tested positive

Product Care offers more than <a href="http://link.mediaoutreach.meltwater.com/ls/click?upn=pDYyTceU0YgTDdsd92GohdQJsmSiPFEkcB4MdMM0Qkoqb1aJA-2By5aWklKJXV6QRdyTteNjr2FccUOVLUe4t5Zw-3D-3D1ds-_KVyBcpjXADXifSWVpM8nQcAzSm9-2B6fEFnjVrTsOcu31irDHDxi5k0QTOIWCqMXUxaNbrf0yRzXSSpROCkfx3NkUtbr65Dkcw1J0by-2F-2BDdDiJGbcfhtjHWYSs66NwakeCCLYkj20e9ICIZsLcedqNZKBhsN0sGgBsInpdzsddYikUZkmQvFdxLJhakpgAA6aAJ5ScUoWR6vO9sM819vRB-2F6x7dsdfIaWa4ZgHxR4G7hauxgSJCsNI2bP5J62EFfM0aiDqRPwUPUjt7i5-2FMqpdJxrEBewnLky-2B3lE0JAmi5UsJBkJejuLOjsndZz4b7dNgbvt6KyewKuF0sxU2rpYgkAO9YAKc9STuFJd28Qn7jE0-2FqlB8HKOvpW150NHS-2BOMBcK5rkZ8YAuPqJy11k-2BgndiKB-2FWl2icAfbWtRGJPb8fM-3D" target="_blank">150 free drop-off locations</a> in B.C. (Pixabay.com)
Recycling broken or burnt string lights can reduce holiday landfill waste

In 2019, Product Care Recycling diverted more than 11.6 million light bulbs from landfills

Most Read