Team Canada Qualifies For Softball 2020 Olympics

Canada became today the fifth qualified nation for the Olympic Games softball competition in Tokyo 2020. The host team secured its ticket with a 7-0, five-innings win over Brazil. Kaleigh Rafter belted a walk-off home run to center field in the bottom fo the fifth episode and sent Canada to its fifth Olympic Games.

Canada scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the second inning. With one out and a runner in first base, Larissa Franklin sent a line drive to the right-field fence for a run-scoring triple, putting Canada ahead in the score.

One inning later Canada rallied for five runs and secured the game. The host team loaded the bases with a bunt single by Victoria Hayward and base on balls to Kelsey Jenkins and Jennifer Gilbert. Brazil forced the first two outs at home plate on two grounders to third and second base, however, they couldn’t avoid the damage. Kaleigh Rafter hit a strong grounder to third base, Mayra Akamine made a spectacular diving catch but couldn’t retire any runner; and Franklin plated-in two more runs with a single to right field. Then Emma Entzminger hit a grounder to second base, Samira Tanaka made another incredible diving stop, but the Entzminger beat the throw at first, producing the fifth run. Finally, Joey Lye cashed-in the sixth Canadian run with another single to right field.

And in the bottom of the fifth episode, Beijing 2008 Olympian Kaleigh Rafter sealed the ticked to Tokyo with a walk-off home run to center field to clinch the game.


“I was just thinking of stay inside the ball. I had the feeling that she would want to go with the rise ball, so staying on top of that… It’s just a bit funny she throws a changeup and I saw it coming so I tried to stay inside the best way I could,” said Kaleigh Rafter. “It’s been a long journey, a growing journey, I’m just excited for the teammates”.

Asked about playing with the National Team for such a long time, Rafter said: “I love this country, I love softball, I love playing for this team… It’s been a part of me since I first tried out at 19 years old. It’s everything, it’s kind of who I am now”.

“The reality is that for most of the players it probably will be the only opportunity to go to the Olympics, so I think it’s especially sweet for them. And for the older ones is the chance to go back and make right the experience they had 12 years ago, that didn’t go the way they hoped,” said Canada Head Coach Mark Smith. “I know how hard they’ve worked, I know the time they’ve put in, and I know the personal sacrifices they’ve made.

“We have proved ourselves to be legitimately one of the top powers in the world. And our stats this week proved that: we have given up only two runs in the tournament, and that two runs cost us a ballgame, but when you look at our stats offensively, defensively; they have proven that they are as good as anybody in the world.”

Canada will participate in their fifth Olympic Games next year, along with Japan (host), USA (World Champion 2018), Italy (Europe/Africa Qualifier) and Mexico (Americas Qualifier). The sixth team in Tokyo 2020 will be the winner of the WBSC Asia/Oceania Qualifier, to be held in Shanghai, China, from 24-28 September.

Kirk Walker Named Head Coach Of California Commotion

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Nashville, TN (November 18, 2020) The California Softball Commotion has named Kirk Walker as Head Coach of the newest club to join the ranks of National Pro Fastpitch. Walker will combine the coaching duties with a position as Assistant General Manager for the newly formed team.

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Signing Day Spotlight: 2020 Texas A&M Outfielder Brionna Warren

On The Field With Texas A&M

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No. 9 overall prospect Brionna Warren could very well be softball's next Ken Griffey Jr. The 6-foot-1 center fielder is a multisport athlete who brings tremendous power, speed, and defensive prowess. 

NPF Expands West Adding California Commotion To 2020 Season

NASHVILLE, TN (November 13, 2019) – National Pro Fastpitch announced today the addition of a new affiliate team that will enter the regular-season competition with the league in 2020.  The California Softball Commotion (CSC) will give the league a west coast presence for the first time since 2005.

Rising Star: Auburn-Commit Jessie Blaine Is Great At Just About Everything

At 17, Jessie Blaine has become accustomed to constant change. She was born in Wentzville, Missouri, but the right-handed-hitting catcher for Firecrackers TJ has lived in 11 different places throughout her childhood, including the state of Virginia four times. She’s currently enrolled as a junior at San Clemente (California) High, her third high school.

Top 25 Division I Softball Recruiting Classes For 2020 Prospects

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The class of 2020 was certainly an impact class over the summer. No. 1 recruit Jayda Coleman and No. 3 Bailey Dowling captured Gold at the U-19 World Cup over Japan. While Auburn-commit Madi Penta and Arizona State-commit Allison Royalty pitched their way to National Championships. We break down the top 25 college softball recruiting classes.

Kaitlyn Alderink Will Finish The 2020 Season With Louisiana

LAFAYETTE – Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Softball strengthened the depth of the infielders on its 2020 roster on Wednesday, and gained veteran experience for the group, as head coach Gerry Glasco announced the addition of Kaitlyn Alderink.