Swift Current’s Bradi Wall will be suiting up for her country again this weekend when she wears the red and white for Team Canada at the 2012 Women’s Baseball World Cup in Edmonton August 10-19.
“It is one of the best feelings ever,” said the 5’6’’ infielder, who also played for Team Canada in 2009 and 2011. “It is something I have dreamed of ever since I was a little kid to be able to wear the Team Canada uniform and be able to represent my country in a sport. Making this team in a World Cup year is amazing, this will be my first World Cup. It is kind of a humbling experience. I have done all the work and I have made it this far so now I can just do the bonding with my team, we are training right now in Edmonton.”
She has been penciled in as the starting shortstop and expects to hit around sixth or seventh in the batting order.
Wall, 20, is entering the tournament on a high after she helped Team Alberta to a bronze medal finish at the Baseball Canada Senior Women Invitational Championship in Spruce Grove Alberta with a 7-1 win over Quebec. Wall had a single and three runs batted in during the bronze medal match.
She was named the tournament’s Top Hitter after finishing eight-for-14 with five runs scored and nine runs batted in five games for Team Alberta.
“It went pretty good,” explained Wall from Edmonton. “I went into that tournament prepared both mentally and physically. I wanted to have a good tournament and do the best I could. I knew that I would hit close to the top of the line-up. I saw the ball really well and I was just hitting the ball to any field, whichever way it took me. It felt really good and I felt I could kind of hit anything they threw at me.”
Wall is entering her Senior season with the Iowa State Hawkeyes womens softball team. She made 52 starts at second base during her rookie season and finished with a .211 average, 17 runs scored, 12 runs batted in and was four-for-four on stolen base attempts.
She had spent the previous two seasons with Iowa Western Community College.
It is definitely doable, we just have to work hard every game, every inning, every at-bat Bradi Wall
“It was great,” she said. “It was definitely a big change for me going from my community college up to the Big Ten. My coaches were great, they worked hard all year to get me ready to go for the year. I played second base there and I bounced around in the batting line-up, by the end of the year I ended up hitting second. It was great, my baseball and softball has improved so much just be being with these coaches. I am definitely looking forward to my final year at the University of Iowa this fall.”
The Hawkeyes finished second behind Michigan in the Big Ten Conference with a 16-8 record last season but missed out on a Regional bid in the post-season. She says the team is aiming for nothing less than top spot in the Big 10 and a post-season appearance in the upcoming season.
“It is definitely a challenge,” she said of the transition from softball to baseball. “But playing softball down at the University of Iowa has definitely helped me prepare for baseball here because in softball you have to have much more quicker hands in the hitting aspect. So when I transition back to baseball there won’t ever be a pitcher that will be overpowering. It is great because I have gotten so much quicker from playing softball in the smaller dimensions.”
Canada’s is currently ranked fourth in the world but has never won the World Cup tournament, which is being contested for the fifth time since 2004. The United States has won twice and Japan is currently the two-time defending champion. Canada was second behind Japan in 2008.
“This year we have a lot of the factors in our favor. Most of the countries are used to the heat and some of our games are at night, they could think it’s too cold. Just being in our home country and having a home crowd cheering for us we are definitely aiming for gold this year. It is definitely doable, we just have to work hard every game, every inning, every at-bat.”
Wall and Team Canada open their tournament Friday against Chines Tapei.