Langley’s Danielle Lawrie-Locke will be hitting the diamond with the rest of Team Canada when the nation’s best softball players compete in the upcoming Canada Cup International Softball Championship July 13-22 at Softball City in Surrey.
And Lawrie-Locke, one of three national team members who represented Canada at the 2008 Olympic Games, will be central to the squad’s success.
A graduate of the University of Washington, Lawrie-Locke was a two-time college player of the year and led the team to its first national championship in 2009.
Four years after retiring from the game, she doesn’t mince words about what motivated her return.
“The Olympics is what is driving me. It’s the stage everyone wants to be on and it’s one I want to be able to share with this special group,” said Lawrie-Locke.
“I started with the national team at the age of 18 and while it’s an experience that will always be special, we have more depth than ever before and when it comes to hitting, this team can rip it like no other team I have been a part of.
“This is a fresh start and a chance to potentially be part of something great.”
The first test for the squad will be Canada Cup, an event that holds a special place in Lawrie-Locke’s heart.
“That’s where my dreams began,” she said.
“I remember watching some of the best teams in the world in my own backyard and now I get to return as a player. I’m anxious and excited. It’s been forever, and I can’t wait.”
The Canada Cup tournament will host an estimated 1,200 elite athletes spanning five divisions: Women’s international, Futures Gold (U19), Futures Select (U19), Showcase Gold (16U) and Showcase Select (16U).
“The fact that almost half of this year’s national team hails from British Columbia says a great deal about the quality of softball players emerging from this province,” said Canada Cup Chairman Greg Timm.
“Even more significant is that this squad, with a core nucleus from B.C., will be working, training and playing together to achieve a berth in the 2020 Olympics.”
Canada Cup 2018 will take place at Softball City (2201 148 Ave.), Cloverdale Athletic Park (6330 168 St.) and Sunnyside Park (15455 26 Ave.)