Over the next week, Canadian Sports Scene will take a look at the eight team events that Team Canada has qualified for at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. In the first part of the series, we will focus on women’s softball.
This will be the fifth time that Canada has qualified for the Olympic Games in women’s softball. They were fifth at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, eighth at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, fifth at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, and fourth at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. In one of the most puzzling predictions in Olympic history, Sports Illustrated actually picked Canada to win gold in the very first Olympic women’s softball competition. The problem was that Canadian team had all sorts of problems hitting the softball was they only scored 15 runs, the third least number of runs in the eight-team tournament.
In 2021, Canada is participating in a six-team tournament that will also include Australia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and the United States. Canada qualified by finishing in second place behind Mexico in the Americas Qualifying Event in Surrey in September of 2019. The top two teams from the round-robin in Tokyo play for gold, and the third and fourth place teams play for bronze. Canada will play Mexico on July 21 (12am MT), the United States on July 21 (6pm MT), Australia on July 23 (7pm MT), Japan on July 24 (11:30 pm MT), and Italy on July 25 (11:30pm MT). The gold medal game is on July 27 at 5 am MT, and the bronze medal game is on July 26 at 10pm MT.
Team Canada will be led by pitchers Sara Groenewegen of Surrey, British Columbia, Lauren Regula of Trail, British Columbia, and Danielle Lawrie of Langley, British Columbia. Danielle Lawrie is the older sister of former Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie, and Regula is the younger sister of former Major League Baseball outfielder Jason Bay. Both Lawrie and Regula represented Canada at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Regula also represented Canada at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.