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B.C. softball players join Team Canada in journey to World Cup

7 of the 16 Team Canada athletes that will be in the world cup group stage are from B.C.
Larissa Franklin (right) will be one of seven B.C. athletes playing with Team Canada at the 2023 WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup Group Stage. (Softball Canada/Special to The News)

A handful of B.C. athletes will soon be putting their softball skills on display in Italy as they compete in the 2023 WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup Group Stage.

Maple Ridge’s Larissa Franklin is one of the many players that have been competing as part of Team Canada for several years now and helped her country earn a silver medal in November of last year as they dominated the XVII WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup Americas Qualifier in Guatemala.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge softball athlete helps Canada’s national team advance to world cup group stage

With their second-place finish, Team Canada earned a spot in the group stage, which will determine which eight teams advance to the World Cup in 2024.

The Canadians have been put into Group C with New Zealand, the Philippines, Venezuela, Italy, and Japan, and enter the tournament as the second-highest-ranked team in their group, with only Japan being ranked higher.

A total of 16 athletes will be competing in the group stage:

• Dawn Bodrug (Georgetown, Ont.)

• Rylie Crane (Toronto, Ont.)

• Emma Entzminger (Victoria, B.C.)

• Larissa Franklin (Maple Ridge, B.C.)

• Sara Groenewegen (Surrey, B.C.)

• Kelsey Harshman (Delta, B.C.)

• Zoe Hicks (Boissevain, Man.)

• Kianna Jones (Surrey, B.C.)

• Janet Leung (Mississauga, Ont.)

• Grace Messmer (Surrey, B.C.)

• Callum Pilgrim (Abbotsford, B.C.)

• Erika Polidori (Brantford, Ont.)

• Morgan Rackel (Calgary, Alta.)

• Nicole Rivait (Oakville, Ont.)

• Samantha Ryan (Monroe, N.Y.)

• Natalie Wideman (Mississauga, Ont.)

RELATED: Maple Ridge softball star named to 2023 Women’s National Team

The 2023 WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup Group Stage for Group C kicks off on July 22 and finishes on July 26.

Canada will start the tournament with a game against the Philippines on Saturday, July 22, at 8 a.m. PDT.

They then have a doubleheader the next day, facing Venezuela at 5 a.m., followed by a match against their Italian hosts at 11 a.m.

Team Canada will go up against Japan on July 24 at 5 a.m., with their last opening-round match taking place on July 25 against New Zealand at 2 a.m.

The playoffs will then take place on Wednesday, July 26, to determine who moves on to the second and final stage of the World Cup.

The other two groups involved in the 2023 WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup Group Stage will take place before Team Canada swings their first bat and will already have their winners.

But before Franklin and many of her teammates get to travel to Italy, they’ll be heading to Surrey, B.C. to compete in the 2023 Canada Cup, which takes place from July 10 to 16.

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Brandon Tucker

About the Author: Brandon Tucker

I have been a journalist since 2013, with much of my career spent covering sports and entertainment stories in Alberta.
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