There were plenty of new faces – along with a few familiar ones – at Softball City Monday morning, as Team Canada arrived in advance of their first game of the Canada Cup Women’s International Fastpitch Championship.
The week-long event began on the weekend, with U19 and U16 teams hitting the field, and the women’s division – which includes some of the world’s top-ranked national programs – begins tonight on Diamond No. 1. Canada will open its schedule at 6 p.m. tonight against Australia’s development team.
At a press event Monday morning, new faces – including Victoria pitcher Ruby Anderson, who according to organizers was giving her first-ever media interview – mingled with the returning veterans like Natalie Wideman and Janet Leung, while new head coach Kaleigh Rafter ran practice.
For Rafter – whom tournament Greg Timm said was a “no brainer” choice to take over the helm of the national team – it was also the first time she’d returned to Softball City since 2019, when as a player she belted a walk-off home run against Brazil, to clinch Canada a spot at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
The team finished third at those Games last summer.
After Monday night’s game, Canada will play Canadian club squad, the Calahoo Erins, on Tuesday afternoon.