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.
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.
So PROUD of OUR SQUAD 🇨🇦🥉✨ pic.twitter.com/nlWQgUJMKO
— Danielle Lawrie (@daniellelawrie5) July 27, 2021
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.
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.”
— CBC Olympics (@CBCOlympics) July 27, 2021
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.
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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