Toronto Fastpitch Club Senior and Simon Fraser University Sophomore stand-out Amanda Janes is playing for our Canadian Junior National Team in Clearwater, Florida from July 24- July 30, 2017.
Amanda has graciously agreed to share her experience at the World’s. Please check in daily for updates on her time in Clearwater in her own words.
Day 1, July 20, 2017- First Impressions
“Had my first official day of practice with the Canadian Women’s Junior National Team today. It felt surreal. I am so excited to be a member of this team and have this opportunity to represent Canada. It has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl after watching so many other national athletes play growing up. I always said that I would love to be a part of that one day, and I’m ecstatic that it has finally come true. While it was extremely hot outside, with the humidity in the mid-40’s, it was still great day!”
Day 2, July 21, 2017- Practice and Preparation
“Today was a mix of softball and downtime. We had a schedule exhibition game against a local U18 team at 10:00am but due to rain the night before, the fields were not playable at that time. The game got pushed back and when warm up was almost complete, there was a storm that passed through causing a further delay. Eventually, the game started, and Canada came out on top with the win. Fortunately, during my first at bat, I had a double; scoring later on in the inning. I also had 3 innings of catching. This evening, the Junior Women’s National Team attended the Tampa Bay Rays vs Texas Rangers MLB game which was a great bonding event. Overall, another amazing day for us.”
Day 3, July 22, 2017- Practice and Game Prep
“Batting practice was great today as we got to do a variety of drills that allowed me to work on different things that I needed (and wanted) to work on. We also had stations of live hitting off of two of the Team Canada coaches. We then made our way back to the hotel after stopping for lunch. At 5:00pm, we drove to a field and went for a jog around it for a while before jogging back as a team to our hotel before supper. The team finished off the day at a restaurant and the mall. Tomorrow, we have an exhibition game against Team Japan which is something that I’m really looking forward to!”
Day 4, July 23, 2017- Opening Ceremonies
“Unfortunately, our scheduled exhibition game against Japan was cancelled due to rainy weather. As a result, we only had an afternoon batting practice before opening ceremonies. The Ceremonies consisted of a dinner, team introductions, some words from different speakers and finished with a fireworks performance. I thought the Opening Ceremonies were absolutely amazing! It was an experience I will never forget. Taking a team picture with the Canadian flag behind us on the screen and then walking out of the ceremony together with our flag in hand was a surreal feeling. I am so honoured that I was able to be a part of it.”
Day 5, July 24, 2017- Game 1 vs Mexico
“Today we had our official round robin game against Mexico. Putting the Canadian jersey on and walking into the diamond with my team was unreal. It is a moment that I will never forget. It was an extremely exciting first game as it was scoreless the first five innings. Eventually, we went up 1-0 in the bottom of the 6th inning. Mexico came back in the top of the 7th and tired the game up at 1-all leaving us with just an inning to hit and pull ahead. With two outs, a triple was hit, and eventually a single down the third base foul line allowed the runner at third to score for the walk-off win! It was so exciting and everybody was screaming! It was a game I will never forget. We play Ireland at 11:00am tomorrow.”
Day 6, July 25, 2017- Game 2 vs Ireland
Today we had a game against Ireland, and I was behind the plate. With this my first official game, it was one I was extremely excited and pumped for. Fortunately, we got off to a quick start as we put up five runs. In my first at-bat, I hit a two-run homer, and it is a memory that I will hold onto for the rest of my life. With it being my first at-bat in the World Championships, and not having hit a homer in about two years, it was definitely a special one. It is a hit that I will never forget. We kept Ireland from scoring throughout the entire game only giving up a few scattered hits. We finished the game in five innings, winning 8-0. It was a great game and puts us at 2-0 in tournament play.
Day 7, July 26, 2017- Korea & Great Britain
The team had a long day as we had two games at 11:00am and 6:00pm against Korea and Great Britain respectively. In our morning game, we went up 1-0 in the first inning and would later score 4 more in the second. After going scoreless for most of the game, Korea scored a single run in the top of the 7th. We soon ended the inning, winning 5-1 as home team. Having been told I would start the 6:00pm game, I had the afternoon to prepare between games. Warming up for our game against Great Britain, my pitcher and I were in a three lane bullpen when two Japanese players joined us. I took a moment to realize how amazing it is that I have this opportunity to play against so many other athletes from all over the world. Having the Japanese warm up right beside us was an eye-opening experience. I really am lucky and fortunate to be playing for my country. In our game against Great Britain, we won 4-2 leaving us at the end of Day 3 with a 4-0 record. Tonight, we will just be relaxing and recovering for our game against China at 6:30pm tomorrow!
Come back for more daily insights into the life of a Junior National Team athlete. As I was updating this post, Amanda hit a 2-run home run against Ireland! For tournament updates and live games, please visit: