Sports

Jenner savours stint with Team Canada

Abbotsford outfielder Chelsea Jenner served as an alternate for the Canadian senior women’s national softball team at the World Cup and the Canadian Open. - submitted photo
Abbotsford outfielder Chelsea Jenner served as an alternate for the Canadian senior women’s national softball team at the World Cup and the Canadian Open.
— image credit: submitted photo

When she rejoins her softball teammates at San Jose State University this fall, Chelsea Jenner's what-I-did-with-my-summer-vacation story is going to be awfully tough to top.

The 18-year-old outfielder spent the past three weeks with the Canadian senior women's national team, joining the squad for the World Cup of Softball IX (July 7-13 in Irvine, Calif.) and the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship (July 17-21 in Surrey).

"They wanted to get me and a couple other younger players in to get us used to the program," explained Jenner, who was one of three alternates on the 20-player roster. "My goal is to be a starter eventually, and I'm working towards that."

In limited playing time, Jenner sparkled – she went 3-for-5 at the plate at the World Cup, including a starting-lineup assignment against the Philippines and brief appearances off the bench vs. Mexico and the United States. Canada won the silver medal at the World Cup, falling 5-2 to the U.S. in the final, and they picked up a bronze medal at the Canadian Open.

"It was just a little bit of action, but I was super-excited," said Jenner, who got her first look with the senior national team in 2012 when she was called up to serve as a pinch-runner at the Canadian Open.

"It's basically the highest you can go now. The training is more intense, and knowing you're competing against the top athletes, it's such a thrilling experience.

"It definitely makes me a better player, and it helps me for San Jose."

Jenner is coming off a solid freshman season at NCAA Div. 1 San Jose State – she started 21 of the Spartans' 40 games, hitting .225.

Playing in the Canadian Open as a member of Team Canada was a particular thrill for her.

"It's always been my favourite tournament, but this year has obviously been amazing," she said. "So many people I know are here, and they're seeing me in the Canada uniform. It's awesome being reunited with players and coaches, and having them see me play has been really cool."

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