ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARDS
Softball Canada has established Athlete of the Year awards presented by Home Run Sports (a division of Kahunaverse Sports). A total of six Athlete of the Year award recipients will be announced on an annual basis:
- Female Fast Pitch Athlete of the Year
- Male Fast Pitch Athlete of the Year
- Female Fast Pitch Minor Athlete of the Year
- Minor Male Fast Pitch Minor Athlete of the Year
- Female Slo-Pitch Athlete of the Year
- Male Slo-Pitch Athlete of the Year
The Softball Canada Awards Committee will consult with National Team coaches and Canadian Championship Supervisors to determine the recipients for each Athlete of the Year category. The recipients will be announced prior to the Softball Canada Congress.
Upon selection, and prior to final approval by the Board, the recipients' provincial or territorial association (President, Executive Director or other designated senior staff member) may be consulted to confirm the selected recipient is a member in good standing.
The name of the individuals selected as Athletes of the Year will be submitted to the Softball Canada Board of Directors for final approval.
The recipients of the six Athlete of the Year awards will be selected based on the following criteria:
- Must be a Canadian citizen / landed immigrant.
- Must be a member in good standing with Softball Canada.
- Must have represented Softball Canada at the international level; and/or
- Must have played in a Canadian Championship.
- Cannot be a previous winner.
In determining the recipients of the Athlete of the Year awards, Softball Canada will take many factors into account including, but not limited to, individual performance, team performance, experience and leadership.
FEMALE FAST PITCH ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Victoria Hayward (Toronto, Ont.) was consistently strong throughout the summer, helping lead Canada’s Women’s National Team to a gold medal at the Canada Cup, a silver medal at the Pan American Games and a berth to 2020 Olympic Games at the WBSC Americas Softball Qualifier. Team Canada’s leadoff batter maintained a .410 batting average and a .486 on-base percentage across those three events and led the Olympic qualifier with 10 hits and 7 stolen bases.
MALE FAST PITCH ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Bryan Abrey (Richmond, B.C.) had an outstanding tournament at the plate to help the Canadian Men’s National to a bronze medal finish at the WBSC World Championship, leading the tournament in slugging percentage (1.636) and homeruns (4) to go along with a .545 batting average. He followed that up with a strong showing at the Men’s Canadian Championship, helping the Sooke Loggers to a silver medal finish by hitting three homeruns, two doubles, driving in five runs and scoring eight runs.
FEMALE FAST PITCH MINOR ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Kendra Falby (Tampa, Fla.) helped lead the Canadian Junior Women’s National Team to its best-ever finish at the WBSC U19 Women’s World Cup with a bronze medal. Falby had 13 hits, scored nine runs and broke the WBSC U19 Women’s World Cup record with a total of 13 stolen bases. She also had six hits and a .353 average competing in the Women’s International division at the Canada Cup.
MALE FAST PITCH MINOR ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Connor Brooks (Napanee, Ont.) won Gold medals at both the U16 Canadian Championship with the Napanee Express and the U17 Men’s Pan American Championship with the Canadian Junior Men’s National Team. A dual threat at the plate and in the pitcher’s circle, Brooks registered 27 hits and a .443 batting average to go along with 125 strikeouts and a 1.53 ERA across those three events. He also collected plenty of Canadian Championship hardware, taking the Top Pitcher and Top Player of the Championship Round awards at the U16 event, and was named to the U19 All-Star team.
FEMALE SLO-PITCH ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Michelle Lorenz (Toronto, Ont.) represented Canada for the third time as a member of the Women’s Slo-Pitch Border Battle team, handling most of the pitching duties. Despite tough results at the Border Battle, Lorenz was stellar at the Women’s Slo-Pitch Canadian Championship with 19 hits, 14 RBIs and 20 runs scored to go along with a .526 batting average, while starting all 12 of her Kahunaverse / Miken Ladybirds games in the pitcher’s circle on route to a gold medal performance. She was named the Top Player of the Championship Round at the event.
MALE SLO-PITCH ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Justin Pennell (Edmonton, Alta.) represented Canada for the sixth consecutive year at the 2019 edition of the Slo-Pitch Border Battle, leading the team with 12 hits and six doubles at the event. At the Men’s Slo-Pitch Canadian Championship, he was named the Top Batter with 41 hits and 38 runs scored and a .695 batting average.