North Delta’s Jessie Weststrate has signed on to play NCAA softball for Simon Fraser University starting in the 2019-2020 season.
Weststrate is a five-foot-seven shortstop who plays minor softball with the Delta Heat. In 2018, her U17 team earned a bronze medal at the U19 Canadian Championships despite playing against older opponents. In 11 games, she picked up 10 hits — including two doubles — had four RBIs, scored eight runs and finished with a .345 batting average. Defensively, Weststrate tallied 21 assists and 17 putouts.
A year earlier, her team also captured the U16 national title. Weststrate earned one of 28 spots at the final selection camp for the 2019 Canadian Junior National Team.
“I have had the privilege of working with Jessie over the years and have seen her up close and personal. She is a born leader and the heartbeat of a team at the shortstop position, carrying with her poise, fun, confidence, game IQ and passion,” said SFU softball head coach Michelle Peters in a press release.
“Jessie is an athlete that stands out, as her high-level skills and infectious character shine through her ability. I am very excited to have Jessie come in and make an immediate impact for our team both defensively and offensively.”
Weststrate is currently a senior at Sands Secondary and will graduate 2019. At school she is a multi-sport athlete and is active in the school community. She has received community service awards, was a Grade 8 mentor and took part in the Best Buddies program and other leadership programs.
In addition, she is a coach for the Learn to Play program that introduces softball to kids, volunteers at a soup kitchen and a food bank, and works with Special Olympics. Weststrate plans on majoring in education or communication at SFU next fall.
“I decided to commit to SFU because it is close to home so I can visit my parents whenever and they can also come visit me. Additionally, I love the atmosphere, the team and the coaches,” Weststrate said in a press release.
Joining Weststrate on the team this fall will be Richmond’s Hanna Finkelstein, a pitcher/utility player with the White Rock Renegades, and Surrey’s Rachel Warburton, an outfielder with the Surrey Storm.
“I’m thrilled to have Hanna, Rachel and Jessie come in next year as they are going to have important roles with the SFU softball program moving forward and I can’t wait to work with them,” Peters said. “Our team will certainly feel the loss of our four seniors at the end of this year — they are our captains and leaders and some of the hardest workers on the team. It was our coaching staff’s focus to bring in some experienced and well-seasoned players that exemplify those traits of our seniors.
“I believe that all three of these newcomers will help fill that void in their own ways, immediately and seamlessly. How these athletes respond under pressure with their own performance, with their teammates and with their coaches in big games and championships is an important factor when I recruit and this trio embody that character, work ethic and resiliency.”