Friday, August 08, 2008
Canadian Softball Team Ready to Compete at the Olympics!
The Canadian pitching staff will feature returning Olympian Lauren Bay Regula (Trail, BC), as well as Danielle Lawrie (Langley, BC), Robin Mackin (Newmarket, ON) and Dione Meier (Saskatoon, SK). Bay Regula was a major contributor on the 2004 Olympic squad, pitching 17 innings with 36 strikeouts and a miniscule earned run average of 0.41. Since joining the team in 2005, Lawrie has been a workhorse for Canada, while Mackin has also been a solid fixture in the pitchers circle. Meier joined the team in 2007 after taking home the MVP and Top Pitcher awards at the 2006 Senior Womens Canadian Championship. Thus, the pitching staff will be one of the deepest Canada has ever had.
Backstopping the Canadian squad will be returning Olympian and one of the best defensive catchers in the world Erin Cumpstone (Saskatoon, SK), while Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, ON) has been a valuable addition behind the plate and in the batters box.
In the outfield, Canada is led by returning Olympian and right fielder Alison Bradley (Pinkerton, ON). Leadoff hitter and a mainstay in left field is Melanie Matthews (Surrey, BC), who is one of Canadas most dangerous hitters. Caitlin Lever (Buffalo, New York) will be the starting centerfielder. A combination of players can be used depending on what the coaching staff feels is needed. Megan Timpf (Port Dover, ON) and Noemie Marin (Acton-Vale, QC) have both seen time patrolling the outfield.
Rounding out the team in the infield, Sheena Lawrick (Calgary, AB) is the fourth and final returning player from 2004, a solid defender at first base and is an offensive threat. Jennifer Yee (North Delta, BC) will play second base with Jennifer Salling (Port Coquitlam, BC) at shortstop, both of which have put up big power numbers for Canada this summer. Erin McLean (Whitby, ON) will play third base, and also swings a very good bat. Timpf, Rafter and Marin may also see some time in the infield.
The coaching staff is comprised of 1996 Olympian and ISF/Softball Canada Hall of Fame pitcher Lori Sippel (Stratford, ON), who was selected as the head coach for the Senior Womens team for this Olympic cycle back in 2005. Jim Peterson (Des Moines, Washington), Lonni Alameda (Las Vegas, Nevada) and Don Bates (Saskatoon, SK) will provide valuable support as assistant coaches. Wendy Dobbin (Oshawa, ON) will also act as a video analyst along with Pippa Edwards, while Laurie Freebairn (Maple Ridge, BC) will serve as the teams physiotherapist and Harvey Stevenson (Victoria, BC) is the Team Leader.
CBC, TSN and RDS will offer extensive video coverage of the Olympic Games. Although the television coverage may jump from one sport to another depending on other concurrent events, CBC will be streaming all games live and in their entirety at http://www.cbc.ca/olympics/livevideo/
Team Canada Olympic Television Schedule (all game times converted to Eastern Daylight Time zone):
August 11th: Game 1 - Chinese Taipei vs. Canada (9:30pm EST, live on TSN, RDS)
August 19th: Game 29 - Seed 1 vs. Seed 2 (9:30pm EST, live on CBC, TSN, RDS)
NOTE: All games can be seen live in their entirety on the CBC website (http://www.cbc.ca/olympics/livevideo/)