Frutivale baseball talent, Allison Schroder, will wear Canada’s colours this week, after being selected to join the 2017 Women’s National Team baseball program.
The 15-year-old Schroder was named to the team on Sunday following an impressive performance playing for the Prospects team at the 2017 Women’s Invitational Baseball Tournament in Windsor, Ont. on the weekend.
“It feels indescribable to be a part of the National Team program and to have the opportunity to wear Canada across my chest,” said Schroder in an email to the Times.
The tournament, which functions as a tryout for the National Team, was comprised of the best senior women baseball players from B.C., Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec, as well as the Prospects squad, which is made up of elite 15-to-20-year-old players from across Canada.
“I wasn’t really necessarily expecting this, I just knew I had to give it my all going into the tournament this past weekend and see what happens at the end,” said Schroder.
The J. L. Crowe student was a force for a young Prospects squad that went 1-and-3 in the tournament. The Prospect team’s shortstop/pitcher finished in the top-10 in hitting in the tournament, batting .417 and going 5-for-12 over three matches with two doubles, an RBI, two walks, and no strikeouts, while scoring six runs at the leadoff position.
Against eventual champion Team Ontario, Schroder went 4-for-5 at the plate with a double and two runs scored in a 12-6 loss. The right-hander also pitched two scoreless innings to close out the Prospects only win, an 8-5 victory over Team Quebec to open the tournament. The Prospects fell to Team Alberta, 15-14, and to Team BC, 10-5, in the round robin, while Ontario went on to win the title with a 15-8 victory over Alberta in Sunday’s final.
After learning of her selection on Sunday night, Schroder was on a plane Monday to join 30 other Team Canada players in Washington, D.C. for a series of games against Team USA. Team Canada will be split into two teams with each playing a four-game series against two teams from USA Baseball starting today and going to Sunday. At the halfway point of the series on Friday, both Canada and USA will combine their squads to play a true “Canada vs USA” exhibition contest.
“We’re very excited to have this opportunity and to partner with USA Baseball on an event that will promote growth and development for both programs,” said Women’s National Team Manager André Lachance in a release. “With 2017 being a non World Cup year, it is crucial for our program to expose as many athletes as possible to international baseball and the highest levels of the women’s game.”
Schroder is one of the youngest players among her peers to play in the tournament, but it doesn’t phase her, rather, she considers it a great opportunity to elevate her game.
“Playing with the older girls will be a great experience as I can learn so much from them,” said Schroder. “For sure playing against older players will be a bit difficult, but again it’s going to be an experience I can learn a lot from.”
The National Team summer program will give manager Lachance, and the coaching staff – made up former big league pitcher Aaron Myette, Sheen Bromley, Scott MacKenzie and Patricia Landry – a chance to see how the younger players like Schroder perform against the world’s elite.
“This event will provide our coaching staff with another opportunity to evaluate talent as we prepare the next Women’s Baseball World Cup in 2018,” added Lachance.
Schroder played with the single-A Trail Orioles in the Washington State American Legion Baseball League this past summer, and this week she will take the field alongside Team Canada veterans Kate Psota, Ashley Stephenson, Nicole Luchanski, and Amanda Asay, who have over 50 years experience playing with the national team and seven World Cups. While seemingly daunting, Schroder is looking forward to the experience.
“Since I am a young player, I believe my role on the team this year may be limited and there will probably be some bench time for me,” she said. “But I’m looking foreward to contributing to the team as much as possible.”
Another Fruitvale native, Ella Matteucci, led Team BC women’s baseball team to gold at the nationals, and played for Team Canada that won a silver medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto and duplicated that at the 2016 World Cup in Gigang, Korea. Schroder would like nothing more than to follow in Matteucci’s footsteps.
”I hope I can take a lot from this experience and one day be given the opportunity to represent Canada at a World Cup.”
Following the tournament in Washington, Schroder will play for Team BC in the U16 nationals in Vaughan, Ont. Aug. 17-20.