Swift Current's Bradi Wall wins Senior Nationals, World Cup up next
Bradi Wall - Southwest Booster file photo
Bradi Wall may have wrapped up her collegiate softball career in 2013, but her career on the diamond is far from over.
The Swift Current product recently won a national championship in womens baseball, where she played with Team Alberta. Next up for the multi-talented infielder is a trip to Japan with Team Canada for the World Cup.
Alberta defeated Ontario 6-2 in the final of the Senior Womens Invitational tournament in Surrey, BC on August 17.
"It was something that we have dreamed of getting. We have ended up with bronze I think five years in a row or the entire time that I have played with Team Alberta," said Wall during a brief break from training with Team Canada in Vancouver.
Alberta finished with a 5-0 record at the tournament to win their first ever Senior National title. Wall walked twice and scored a run in the championship game.
"Playing Ontario in the finals, we knew they would be tough. They have been the team to beat the past two or three years in a row. We came out firing and were excited to go and ready to pull the upset and be the team to beat them. It was a great feeling for sure," she said.
Wall, 22, provided some real fireworks in the semi-final when she doubled home the tying run with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning and then scored the winning run for a 4-3 victory over British Columbia.
"I knew that we had hope and we were in the heart of our line-up. I had been seeing pitches pretty well all game. I just stayed focused, waited for my pitch. She gave me that up and in pitch that I like, so I drove it to the fence and got the double and the run scored. We were on a high and we kind of knew we had it in the bag from then."
Wall finished with a .500 average after knocking out two doubles and five singles in 14 at-bats. She was second on her team with seven runs scored and five runs batted in.
"Overall it felt like a good tournament. Defensively, I felt pretty strong. I felt great all week, which is always an upside. I knew hitting four-hole that they expected a little power out of me, a couple more extra base hits. I felt good. I saw the ball well all week so I didn't really have anything to complain about. I just stopped over-thinking, just see the ball, hit the ball was what worked for me."
Wall had played softball with the University of Iowa Hawkeyes in 2012 and 2013 and for two seasons prior to that with Iowa Western Community College.
"I moved out to Ontario mainly for that reason. I knew that it would be the first time in the past four years that I haven't been playing ball year-round. I knew that if I wanted to stay sharp to be on top of my game that I needed to go to a place where women’s baseball was being played competitively. I knew that was either Edmonton or Ontario."
She was facing her first full year without any type of ball and made the decision to move to Burlington, ON to stay sharp for Nationals and the World Cup.
"I made the decision to move out to Ontario and I have been playing essentially with most of the Ontario girls out there. We played in a competitive boys Midget league, so we got to play at least four or five times a week, which helped me out a lot to just see the ball and consistently play."
Wall was also named to represent Canada at the IBAF Women’s Baseball World Cup in Miyazaki, Japan from September 1-7. She played on Team Canada on 2009 and 2011 and was also on Team Canada when they won bronze at the 2012 World Cup in Edmonton.
Team Canada began practices on August 18 and continued until August 22 before they flew out for Japan on Friday.
"The team is looking really strong this year. We have a bunch of pitchers and a bunch of really athletic, even a couple of young pitchers and position players. We have a lot of power. We are just ready and really excited for it."
Their practices in Vancouver even included visits from a couple of former Toronto Blue Jays stars.
"It has been phenomenal. We have had a couple of big name players come out here. Shawn Green was out here two days ago helping the outfielders out. Yesterday Robbie Alomar was out here helping us infielders out. It is amazing. It's awesome just to hear him talk, everything that he says you just absorb it like a sponge. He keeps it pretty simple. Just keep the game simple, just throw the ball, hit the ball, play hard. It was a really good experience just to be out here practicing with the big leaguers."