The University of Victoria Vikes are pleased to announce that starting next fall, they will add a women’s team into the Western Collegiate Softball Association (WCSA) on a full-time basis.
“The WCSA is very excited and pleased to welcome the University of Victoria into the league,” said WCSA President Randy Plishka. “The interest from B.C. schools bodes well for the future growth of our league. I know that the City of Victoria has a great softball community and will support the Vikes program. I am certain they will be a competitive team in the league right from the start.”
The Vikes become the eighth team to be accepted into the league. They will be competing against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, the University of Regina Cougars, the University of Calgary Dinos, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Trojans, the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, the Briercrest College Clippers and the University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat.
“I played three seasons with the Dinos and loved it. It’s a highly competitive league and a great way to continue playing the sport after high school,” said Vikes infielder Mary Duffield Harding. “Having a team at UVic allows me to continue playing the sport I love and live at home while I continue my education. This is a dream come true.”
This past fall, the Vikes participated in exhibition games. Their 9-4-0 record in limited league and exhibition play made it clear that they could field a competitive team in the WCSA.
Leading the Vikes was head coach Lori Zehr (NCCP Competition Development and level 3 coach). She will retain her title as the team moves into their inaugural season this August. Now that they are officially members of the WCSA, Zehr will be looking to expand her coaching staff before the new season gets underway.
“I’m very excited and happy about this announcement. I am very proud of the dedication and performance by our team this past fall that has provided this opportunity for players in the future,” said Zehr.
The Vikes Women’s Softball team will be supported as part of the Vikes Sports Clubs portfolio and is not part of the traditional UVIC varsity sports program. The team will operate under a pay-to-play model with collaboration from the student-athletes, the coaching staff and Vikes administration.
The season begins at the end of August and runs until mid-October with each program hosting a weekend of tournament play. There is a minimum of 20 regular season games and a maximum of 26. The regular season is followed by the WCSA playoffs, where the top teams advance to the Canadian Collegiate Softball Association National Championship.
The Vikes will host a weekend of league play in partnership with the District of Saanich and the South Vancouver Island Fastball Association.