Garson’s Brittney Langlais had a 2019 to remember on the baseball field.
Months after playing semi-pro ball in Australia, the 20-year-old joined the Interlake Blue Jays of the Manitoba Junior Baseball League, becoming its first-ever female player when she played left field in Stonewall on May 10. Then in August, she made her debut for Canada’s national women’s baseball team and played a part in clinching its berth to the 2020 Women’s Baseball World Cup.
“It was pretty awesome (to wear the Canada jersey),” Langlais said in an interview to The Selkirk Journal. “I’ve always dreamed about playing for Team Canada since I was a little kid. Being able to do it is a big accomplishment for me and it’s nice to be able to represent your country like that too.”
However, she will have to go through the same tryout process before Canada’s World Cup roster is announced.
“You have to remake the team every year,” Langlais explained. “I’m hoping that next year for the World Cup I’ll make one of the spots and be able to go.”
To seal Canada’s berth into the World Cup, the team, ranked second in the world, had to finish top four at a continental qualifying tournament in Aguascalientes, Mexico. It was tougher than expected for the Canadians, but still finished in third place to get one of the berths.
Langlais called it the “experience of a lifetime.”
“Most people don’t really get to travel for their sport that much. I’ve been really privileged to be able to go across the world a lot and play baseball,” she said. “My experience with the team was really fun … You get really close to (your teammates) over two weeks and now we’re all really good friends and we keep in touch all year round and keep up to date on each other’s training, so everyone’s really supportive.”
She also said that the Blue Jays had “a really good season” this year, advancing to the MJBL semifinals and competing in Western Canadians for the first time. Langlais added that she’ll train indoors and return as a student to the University of Manitoba during the off-season before a possible return to the Blue Jays for next season. She also plans on representing Team Manitoba in national competitions in 2020.
Last August, Langlais was a part of Manitoba’s 21U team which won a medal for the first time at the Baseball Canada 21U Women’s Invitational, a bronze in Ottawa. She believes women’s baseball in the province is growing and getting more popular.
“Even across Canada, women’s baseball is getting a lot more big,” Langlais added.