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Jenner savours stint with Team Canada
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."