Lawrie Selected to the Canadian National Team
Oct. 25, 2007
SEATTLE -Washington junior pitcher Danielle Lawrie has been named to the Canadian National softball team, as announced last Friday by Softball Canada. Lawrie is one of 15 players selected to represent Canada at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China next August.
Earlier this month at the China Cup held in Beijing, Lawrie helped the team to the Silver Medal as the Canadians won all three games that she started. Lawrie finished the seven-day tournament with a 3-0 record and a team-best 1.29 ERA. Her 21 2/3 innings pitched and 18 strikeouts also led the team. Her best performance of the China Cup came against Australia, which had already defeated the Canadians twice in the tournament. Lawrie pitched seven shutout innings while giving up just two hits and striking out three in leading the team to a 4-0 win.
The China Cup served as a tryout for 20 players hoping to make the Canadian team for the Olympics. From there, 15 players and three alternates were chosen for the Olympic squad. Lawrie was one of four pitchers chosen and while it was generally suspected that she would make the final cut, she was still thrilled by the announcement.
'You always hear the talk that you're going to be selected, but really you have no idea,' said Lawrie. 'You can't just assume you're going to make it. You have to go out there and outwork every single girl to make the team. I really tried to put everything out on the line [in the China Cup] and show my teammates that I'm going to do everything to get the job done for them.'
Lawrie will not play for Washington this season as she prepares for the Olympics with her fellow Canadian National team players. While the Huskies will miss Lawrie's pitching this season, head coach Heather Tarr and the rest of the Husky softball team are proud of her accomplishment.
'It's an honor to have one of our current student-athletes selected to the Canadian National Team,' said Tarr. 'Although we have been planning on Danielle competing in 2008 for her country - this is still an unbelievable accomplishment and we are very proud of her.'
The Olympians will travel to Las Vegas, Nevada in late January to begin centralized training and play several games against NCAA competition. They will then travel to Australia in March where they will continue their training at the site of the 2000 Olympic Games in Blacktown, Australia and will play against the Australian and Japanese national teams. April and May are set aside for specialized training before the team re-groups in early June. The exact schedule from that point on is in the process of being finalized but will include the Canada Cup in Surrey, BC from July 12-20.
The international scene is not something new for Lawrie, who has been a part of the Softball Canada program for three years and has competed at the World Championships and the Pan American games.
The Canadian team is currently ranked fifth in the world based on its finish at last year's ISF World Championships. Last summer the Canadians proved they could compete with the teams ahead of them in the rankings, as they defeated Japan (2nd), Australia (3rd) and China (4th). Lawrie believes that the team stands a good chance of medaling at the Olympics.
'It's something that we've worked hard for these past three years, getting to the Olympics. We have the ability to medal and it's just a matter of us doing the little things that we haven't done before. Everyone has the right mentality and drive right now - everyone has that goal in mind of earning a medal.'
Last season as a sophomore, Lawrie helped the Huskies to a 42-18 record and a third place finish at the Women's College World Series, where she was named to the All-Tournament team after going 2-2 with a 1.72 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 23 innings pitched. In the WCWS opener against DePaul, she tossed a no-hitter, marking just the 16th no-hitter in WCWS history. She was also named to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America first team and was an All-Pac-10 selection for the second straight season.
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