IRVINE, Calif. – Former St. Marys resident Mia Valcke played a key role as Canada’s U-19 Junior Women’s national team won bronze here at the 2019 World Cup of Softball, Aug. 11-17.
Sixteen countries competed.
Valcke finished with Canada’s fourth-highest batting average (.308, 8-for-26), third in hits (8), and second in runs scored (5).
In the bronze-medal game against Australia, Valcke hit a hard grounder up the middle to drive in the fourth Canadian run in the fifth inning. The Aussie shortstop grabbed it and stepped on second base, but was unable to turn the double play. Valcke proceeded to steal second and scored Canada’s fifth run, which turned out to be the difference in a 5-4 bronze victory.
It’s the first-ever medal for Canada’s U-19 Women’s team in the history of this 13-year event. Canada’s previous highest placing being fourth in 1981, 2015 and 2017.
Canada’s overall record at the World Cup was 8-2, with their only losses coming against the United States and Japan who met in the gold-medal game. The U.S. came out on top, 4-3, in eight innings to earn the gold, while Japan settled for the silver medals.
–Mia Valcke, a Stratford St. Mikes graduate and former star athlete at the school, now attends the University of British Columbia on a softball scholarship.
–Her brother Jaxon also attends UBC and plays baseball. He had a breakout season in Okotoks, in the WCBL college summer league. They won the championship and drew 4,500 fans per game. He was second in the league in hitting, batting over .400 for most of the season.
–Dad Tom Valcke is in Zhongshan, China, serving as Executive Director with the national men’s baseball program. In the past month, they opened up a brand new state-of-the-art professional baseball stadium, a new headquarters, and a new 600-bed dormitory.
Valcke, former CEO of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Marys, has had a 33-year career in baseball.