Women’s softball starts strong as they prepare to host Collegiate Women’s Softball Championship
September 4, 2023
VICTORIA – The University of Victoria women's softball team collected five wins on the road to open their 2023 Western Collegiate Softball Association (WCSA) season with a perfect 5-0 record, including a pair of wins via the mercy rule.
"Our opening weekend was a success, going 5-0 in our first conference games against some challenging competition. The team was on fire offensively, hitting the ball well and making very few defensive errors," said Lori Zehr, who begins her fourth season as head coach.
The Vikes play six consecutive weekends in a tournament format, culminating in the Western Conference Championships taking place in Calgary from Sept. 29 – Oct. 1. The following weekend, UVic will host the 2023 Canadian Collegiate Softball Association National Championships at Langford's Centennial Park.
Due to a compressed fall season, the CCSA National Championship is an invitational for the previous year's conference medalists to compete for a national title. This year, the Vikes, who are two-time Western Conference bronze medalists, secured the bid to host nationals and will chase their first championship banner on home soil.
The team will have their work cut out to compete against the nation's top programs, including the University of Calgary, University of British Columbia Okanagan, St. Clair College, Durham College, Humber College, Queens University, and Western University.
This year's squad is young and hungry, with only six players returning after seven previous core players graduated in the spring. With most of the team playing club ball over the summer months, the student-athletes enter the season very fit, and now it's about coming together as a cohesive unit.
“We're a very young team with lots of skill, which is always exciting. Right now, we're really working on cohesiveness and working as a team...”
Key returners for the Vikes will be senior team leader Emma Brown, a catcher and utility player out of Ontario, Victoria's Dani Boudreau, named the 2022 Western Conference Utility Player of the Year, and Victoria's Alex Buckham. Buckham, a lead outfielder for the Vikes, had a stellar opening weekend and led the team offensively with a batting average of .533.
"We're a very young team with lots of skill, which is always exciting. Right now, we're really working on cohesiveness and working as a team, which can be tricky when you only have ten days from the start of training camp to come together before the first league games," said Zehr.
The Vikes will host their regular season home tournament Sept. 8-10 at Hyacinth Park. Grab tickets at the gate and support the Vikes.
The team competes as part of the Vikes clubs portfolio and is not part of the traditional UVic varsity stream. Because they compete as a competitive club program, they rely on volunteers and fundraising to help cover travel costs, equipment and more.
The 2023 CCSA National Championships take place Oct. 6-8, and the Vikes are looking for volunteers in all areas, including scorekeeping, admissions, announcing, live streaming, field/ground crew, park set up and clean up. If you're interested in volunteering, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow the Vikes games here.