Canadian National Softball Team to Call Rent One Park Home in Summer 2019

Oct 30, 2018

The Canadian national softball team will play a 25-game National Pro Fastpitch League schedule at Rent One Park in Marion next summer.

The Canadian team says the strong competition in the league will prepare it for the upcoming 2019 Olympic qualifiers and the 2020 Olympic Games.

The team will be officially known as the Canadian Wild of Southern Illinois, and be entirely made up of players from the Canadian national team.

During the announcement Tuesday at the ballpark,  Softball Canada CEO Hugh Mitchener  says Rent One Park is outstanding.
 
"We were looking for a great facility to play in, we were blown away. It is terrific. We can't wait to see it full of softball enthusiasts. I know our players are really going to look forward to playing here."

The Miners will also partner with SIU to provide the team with housing and training facilities. Saluki softball head coach Kerri Blaylock says with the popularity of youth softball in the region, this could be a good recruiting tool for the university.
 
"I thought what a great opportunity to bring young people to southern Illinois from Evansville, Paducah, St. Louis, so they could see our beautiful university. We're always wanting enrollment at SIU and I thought, wow, what a way to get young people around here."

The games will be presented by Visit SI. Executive director Shannon Johnson says she's excited for the region.
 
"The economic impact for this event and the training and what it could possibly bring to our region, I mean the sky's the limit."

Softball Canada recently finished third at the 2018 Women's Softball World Championship in August, and is currently ranked third in the world by the World Baseball Softball Confederation.