Trudy Haraldson is excited about extending her fastball season and she gets to do just that by playing those extra innings over in Turin, Italy this August.
The catcher, second baseman and outfielder is a member of the N. Jensen Bandits who play in the Red Deer Ladies Fastball Association but next month she is a member of the Alberta Wild, competing in the World Masters Games over 35 division.
“Two members of my team played in the games when they were hosted in Edmonton and I went and watched a few of the games and I said when I turn 35 that was going to be one of my goals,” she said.
The team headed overseas was formed last year by Haraldson and TNT Athletics player Thea Mawby.
“We played in the provincials last year and won silver,” said Haraldson.
Some of the girls however can’t afford the cost of the trip to Italy so four players from B.C., three from Edmonton and a player from Calgary were added, along with former Red Deerians Lisa Loitz, who lives in Leduc and Michelle Wiggins who calls Calgary home.
The team will be coached by Darian Popadynec of Red Deer and an umpire is also required to be a part of the entourage with Malcom Murray being the man behind the mask.
He won’t umpire any of the Wild’s games, she said.
“We have quite the team and team personnel going with us.”
The Wild will be in the same division as a pair of teams from Australia, one from Italy and a second Canadian squad.
“I’m expecting that some of these teams might have Olympians on their team so I’m expecting a very high level of competiveness,” she said.
The schedule has the Wild playing eight games with the first pitch being tossed on Aug. 2nd, opening ceremonies the following day and then back to action on Aug. 4th with playoffs coming Aug. 10-11.
Aside from the ball being played Haraldson says she’s looking forward to the pomp and ceremony surrounding the World Games.
“It’s just like the Olympics. There are four hours where we march into the Olympic Stadium where the Winter Olympics were held in Torino,” she explained.
She likes the team’s chances of bringing home a medal and points to their pitching as a strength, which includes the former Red Deerians Wiggins and Loitz.
“I think we are going to be a good hitting team, ” she added.
The ladies fastball league is done for the year and Haraldson is relishing the chance to keep playing.
“I don’t want my season to end so the girls on my own team are all jealous that I get to still go play ball in August over there,” she said.
There is some vacation time planned for after the games and Haraldson said she’s really looking forward to playing against all those international teams, meeting new people from around the world and seeing the sights.
But of course there is one goal in mind at the end of this rainbow.
“I want to bring home a gold medal,” she said.