Canada’s women’s softball team players Kaleigh Rafter (left to right), Jenn Salling, Danielle Lawrie-Locke, Kelsey Harshman and Emma Entzminger celebrate their win over Mexico in the bronze medal game at the Tokyo Olympics in Yokohama, Japan. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

Canada’s women’s softball team players Kaleigh Rafter (left to right), Jenn Salling, Danielle Lawrie-Locke, Kelsey Harshman and Emma Entzminger celebrate their win over Mexico in the bronze medal game at the Tokyo Olympics in Yokohama, Japan. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

Langley’s Lawrie-Locke pitches as Canadian softball team wins bronze at Tokyo Olympics

First softball medal for Canada

The last pitch that Langley’s Danielle Lawrie-Locke is likely to ever throw for Team Canada was a swinging strike that won an Olympic bronze medal for her country.

Late Monday night in Yokohama, Japan – host site of women’s softball at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics – Canada defeated Mexico 3-2 in the bronze-medal game.

Pitcher Danielle Lawrie-Locke celebrates after throwing the final pitch as Canada defeated Mexico to win the bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021 in Yokohama, Japan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Pitcher Danielle Lawrie-Locke celebrates after throwing the final pitch as Canada defeated Mexico to win the bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021 in Yokohama, Japan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Lawrie-Locke, who, like the majority of her veteran teammates, is expected to retire at the conclusion of the Games, got the final two outs via strikeout to clinch her country’s first-ever Olympic medal in softball.

Lawrie-Locke pitched the final two-and-a-third innings for Canada, striking out four. She came into the game in relief of Jenna Caira – who, in turn, came into the game after two innings, relieving Semiahmoo Peninsula resident Sara Groenewegen, who struck out three herself while allowing one run.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Langley’s Danielle Lawrie to pitch for Canada at the Olympics

After the victory, Lawrie-Locke – who like her teammates had been taking a social-media hiatus since the Games began – went on Instagram to discuss the experience, calling it “by far the highlight of my softball career.”

“Being able to make history for our country with these women, to be a part of that was humbling,” said the mother of two who was one of only a handful of Canadian players who were on the team the last time softball was an Olympic sport, in 2008.

“I just can’t wait to head home and put that medal around my two little girls and let them see it, and let them know that the hard work was worth it, the time away was worth it.

“We did it.”

Canada’s gold-medal hopes were dashed late last week, after back-to-back heartbreaking losses to the United States and Japan – both by 1-0 scores, with the latter game taking extra innings to decide – but they rebounded to secure a spot in the bronze game.

READ ALSO: B.C. pitcher leads Canada to win over Mexico on first day of Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics

Japan defeated the United States in the gold-medal game, successfully defending their Olympic title from 2008.

Despite making its return after 13 years off the Olympic docket, softball is set to be cut again from the 2024 Summer Olympics.

In Paris, though it may return for the ’28 Games, which will be held in Los Angeles.

– with files from The Associated Press


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LangleyOlympicsSoftballTokyo 2020 Summer Olympics