By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
This month marks exactly 30 years ago, that a BVI Men’s Softball team played in the Pan American Games in Indianapolis, Indiana, suffering a narrow 4-3 loss to Cuba, in the bronze medal game.
For the first time since 1987, the BVI will be back in Pan Am action, as women are returning to international softball. The Virgin Islands Baseball Softball Association has selected 15 players to represent the territory in the IX Women’s Pan American Softball Championship, scheduled for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, August 4-13, in the tournament that has attracted 20 teams.
Allen “Woodrow” Smith said that he’s hoping for the best from the that experienced a few setbacks due to a number of injuries.
“BVI hasn’t been traveling for a number of years and we’re going up against some of the best—Canada, Guatemala, USA—these teams play regular competitions year in year out, 6, 7, 8 tournaments a year,” he noted. “For the girls, it will be a learning experience and a building experience. What we’re looking for from the team is to build the team let them see what the competition is like, see what they need to gear up for and hopefully, we can start from here and make something good for the BVI. I’d also like to win a couple games.”
Comprising the team are: Che’Vaunne Richardson, Claury Scatliffe, Darier Malone, Denecia Hodge, Donniesha George, Javlyn Frett, Jelisa Potter, Kaynesha Stoutt, Khiayah Doward, Khyra Powell, Kimesha Adams, Makeda Fahie, Shamora Penn, Shanika Forbes and Monet Daly.
The Pan American Championship is the qualifying event for the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games, in Barranquilla, Colombia; the 2018 WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship in Chiba, Japan, and the top five teams will join Peru to compete in the 2019 Pan Am Games, in Lima, Peru.
Additionally, the top five countries from the Central American and Caribbean region and the best ranked by the English Caribbean region (ECASC), along with Colombia, will play Softball in Barranquilla 2018.
The 20 countries competing in the IX Women’s Softball Pan American Championship are: Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Curacao, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States and Venezuela. The last time a Pan Am Championship attracted 20 teams, was in Maracay, 2009.