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National team roster for Canada Cup to feature White Rock Renegade additions

Lauren Benson, Emma Dorval and Madelyn McKinnon are new members of Team Canada this summer
Longtime Canadian national women’s softball team member Natalie Wideman is one of the returnees to the team this summer. (Nick Greenizan photo)

The White Rock Renegades’ pipeline to the Canadian national women’s softball team continues to churn out talent.

Despite some high-profile retirements of former Renegades – including star pitchers Danielle Lawrie and Lauren Regula – plus Sara Groenewegen taking a break from the team this summer, the national team that will compete at this month’s Canada Cup will still be chock full of local players.

The player roster that will don the Maple Leaf this summer – not just at the Canada Cup, but also at The World Games July 9-13 in Birmingham, Ala. – includes three new additions who are either current or former Renegades: Lauren Benson, Emma Dorval and Madelyn McKinnon.

Cloverdale’s Grace Messmer, an alum of the Surrey Storm program, and Surrey’s Kianna Jones – who played for the Delta Heat – also made the cut.

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A roster of 20 will play at the Canada Cup – which runs June 17-26 – and the lineup will have to be trimmed to 15 for the World Games, according to a news release from Softball Canada.

The team still includes longtime national team member Larissa Franklin, who is also a former Renegade. Other names familiar to fans of Canadian softball that are set to return include Natalie Wideman, Victoria’s Emma Entzminger, Erika Polidori, Delta’s Kelsey Harshman and Morgan Rackel, who was a member of Canada’s development team last year.

The national team is now coached by the team’s former catcher, Kayleigh Rafter, and former infielder Jenn Salling – who, like Rafter retired after last summer’s Tokyo Olympics – is an assistant coach on the team. Alison Bradley and Joey Lye – both former players – are on the roster as manager and team leader, respectively.

Canada Cup schedule

Team Canada’s first game of the Canada Cup is set for Monday, June 20 at 6 p.m. against Australia’s development team. On Tuesday, June 21 at 1 p.m., Canada will face the Calahoo Erins, an Alberta-based club team, and on Wednesday evening, at 7 p.m., they’ll play Philippines, before wrapping up their round-robin schedule against Mexico on Thursday, June 23 at 6:30 p.m.

All games will be played on Softball City’s Diamond 1.

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