OTTAWA- The top women’s baseball players in the country are in Montréal preparing for the Women’s Invitational Championships that get underway Thursday, July 5thwith medal games slated for Sunday, July 8that Gary Carter Stadium.
A six-team field featuring a pair of entries from Ontario along with British Columbia, Alberta, a 21U Prospects squad and host Québec will play a full round-robin to determine four semi-finalists that will ultimately decide gold and bronze medal match-ups.
Ontario enters the event as the defending gold medalists after they topped Alberta in the 2017 gold medal contest in Windsor. Ontario has medalled in every Women’s Invitational Championship since the event was first played in 2005, including seven gold medals. Some familiar faces including Women’s National Team veterans Ashley Stephenson and Kate Psota will lead the squad.
Alberta and BC always bring strong teams to the event and have the hardware to back it up with Alberta entering as last year’s silver medalists while BC captured the top prize in 2018. A pair of former Women’s National Team MVP’s will be relied on for both clubs in Alberta’s Nicole Luchanski and BC’s Amanda Asay.
A young wave of talent can be found on the teams representing Québec, the 21U Prospects and the Ontario 2 entry with most players falling in the 16-21 years-old ranges. Québec will be looking to improve on their 2017 bronze medal with this year’s event on home soil and will look to veterans Daphnée Gélinas and Anne-Sophie Lavallée to lead the way. Players from the 21U Prospects to keep and eye on include Katie Hagen and Allison Schroder while Julia Jodouin looks to be a difference-maker for Ontario 2.
This year’s Women’s Invitational Championships takes on even greater meaning as a National Championship is not the only item on the line. Following the event, 26 athletes will be chosen to participate in a four-day selection camp that will determine the 20-player roster that will represent Canada at the WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup.
During selection camp, Team Canada will play a three-game series against squads from Baseball Québec’s Midget AAA (2) at Gary Carter Stadium and conduct daily practices before the final roster is announced on July 12.
Women’s Invitational Website
Women’s Invitational Facebook
2006 – Gatineau, QC
2007 – Québec City, QC
2008 – Cape Breton, NS
2009 – Granby, QC
2010 – North York, ON
2011 – North York, ON
2012 – Spruce Grove, AB
2013 – Granby, QC
2014 – Surrey, BC/C-B
2015 – Saguenay, QC
2016 – Red Deer, AB
2017 – Windsor, ON