Women’s softball finish sixth in first national championship appearance
October 12, 2023
VICTORIA – It may not have been a storybook ending for the University of Victoria women’s softball team this season, but the young Victoria team who entered the college softball ranks just three years ago are certainly on the radar as future contenders.
Finishing in sixth place at the Canadian Collegiate Softball Association National Championship from Oct. 6-8 at Langford’s Centennial Park, the tournament host Vikes ended with a 1-4 record, finishing third in round-robin pool play after defeating the University of Calgary to open the tournament.
The St. Clair College women’s softball team successfully defended their national title, sweeping the weekend and finishing with a perfect 5-0 record that was capped by a 9-2-win courtesy of a mercy-shortened 9-2 verdict over Durham College.
Made up of 11 first- and second-year athletes and just three senior players, the Vikes, who were first-time hosts of the national tournament, came out firing like a veteran squad, taking down the Calgary Dinos by a score of 5-3.
““Being our first national championship appearance, the whole thing felt surreal,” said Emma Brown, third-year athlete and senior leader.”
“As a young team in the league, it meant a lot getting to host nationals, compete against the best teams in the country, and show that we are right there with them. The whole experience allowed us to learn and grow together as a team, making us better and ready to compete to get back to nationals next season.”
To Vikes even earned a tournament all-star nod, with Sydney Apelo Cruz of Delta, BC, earning the First Team All-Star Left Field award.
UVic head coach Lori Zehr, who is undoubtedly the unsung hero of the Vikes program and has been with the team since its inception, is already looking forward to next year and says the “future is bright.”
Prior to nationals, the Vikes earned a bronze medal at the Western Conference Collegiate Softball Championship, providing them with a wild card option to compete at the 2024 CCSA National Championship tournament.
Once again, Vikes rookies proved why they are slated to be a force in the next few seasons with four athletes earning all star recognition, including Summer Wind, First Team All-Star shortstop, Apelo Cruz, First Team All-Star left field, Sophie Hepner, First Team All-Star utility and Clare Johnston, second team All-Star catcher.
The women’s softball team would like to thank supporters, sponsors and the City of Langford for the success of their season and hosting a national championship.