Team Canada’s Larissa Franklin is coming off a silver medal at the Pan American Games. (File photo)

Franklin wins silver at Pan Am Games

Maple Ridge softball star now looking for Olympics berth via Surrey tournament

Maple Ridge’s Larissa Franklin and the Canadian Women’s National Softball Team won silver at the Pan American games in Lima, Peru.

Team Canada lost to the United States 3-1 in the final game on Saturday afternoon.

Team Canada pushed hard to find the tying run in the seventh, with a leadoff single from Jennifer Salling (Port Coquitlam) and a two-out single by Franklin (Maple Ridge, B.C.), but pitcher Monica Abbott was able to shut the door and stop the Canadian rally to secure the victory for the Americans.

The Canadian women’s team now has its sights set squarely on the WBSC Softball Americas Qualifier and the opportunity to gain a berth in the Tokyo Games of 2020.

The qualifier for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020 will start in less than two weeks at Softball City in Surrey, from Aug. 25 to Sept. 1.

Team Canada, the highest ranked team in the tournament, will open against Cuba at 7:30 p.m. on opening day and will be looking to clinch one of two available berths for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, next August.

“The stakes don’t get any bigger than this,” said organizing chair Greg Timm. “The top national teams in the Americas will be competing for two berths in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. And what better way for the top ranked Canadian National Team to chase their dream, than by competing on home soil, at Softball City in Surrey.”

For Canada’s national team, it will be very much a homecoming, as seven of the 15 roster positions are occupied by British Columbians, including the 26-year-old centre-fielder from Maple Ridge. Other members of the team have a long-term affinity with this ball park and its passionate fans.

Eleven teams from North, Central and South America will participate in the tournament including Puerto Rico, Mexico and Venezuela, ranked fourth, fifth and 16th in the world respectively.

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