Langlais becomes first female to play in MJBL

Brittney Langlais of Garson, Man., playing for the Interlake Blue Jays, became the first female to ever play in the Manitoba Junior Baseball League when she played left field and batted twice in a 16-9 loss to the Elmwood Giants at Fines Field in Stonewall, Man. on May 10, 2019. (Adam Peleshaty/The Stonewall Argus and Teulon Times)

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While it wasn’t the ideal start to the season for the Manitoba Junior Baseball League’s Interlake Blue Jays, one of its players made provincial baseball history in the process.

Garson’s Brittney Langlais, the 2018 Baseball Manitoba Female Player of The Year, became the first female player in league history after being inserted into left field during Interlake’s season-opening 16-9 loss to defending champions Elmwood Giants at Fines Field in Stonewall on May 10.

Blue Jays manager Adam Kirk made the substitution prior to the fifth inning with Interlake trailing 8-4 and Langlais received applause from approximately 30 in attendance after her history-making appearance was mentioned over the PA system.

“It’s pretty cool that I’m the first female (in MJBL history),” Langlais told The Selkirk Journal after the game.

However, her Blue Jays debut left a lot to be desired. In the top of the fifth, Langlais was charged with an error after the ball rolled past her, allowing the Giants to increase their lead to 12-4. In the bottom of the fifth, in her first MJBL at bat, Langlais fouled off the 2-2 pitch from the Giants’ Brandon Racette but swung on and missed on the next pitch. Langlais caught a fly ball in shallow left-centre field to end the top of the sixth inning with Interlake now trailing 15-6, but in her second at bat, she swung on and missed for her second strikeout.

“I guess I didn’t play like I could, so it was kind of disappointing. I guess I could only improve from what I did today,” Langlais said.

Last year, she pitched for the North Winnipeg Pirates of the Winnipeg AAA Midget Baseball League and last winter travelled to Australia to play semi-pro women’s baseball. Langlais has been an integral part of Manitoba’s provincial girls’ baseball program over the past few years, competing at the Baseball Canada 21U Women’s Invitational in Stonewall in 2017 and 2018, as well as in Baseball Canada’s Prospects Camp.

This season, she plans on playing for Team Manitoba, but Langlais has a bigger dream in sight.

“Hopefully, I’ll make Team Canada next year in a (Women’s Baseball) World Cup year,” she said.

East St. Paul’s Darnell Wyke was the winning pitcher for Elmwood, while Jayden Allary took the loss for Interlake. The Blue Jays’ Noah Cnockaert-Ducharme led all players with four hits, all singles, in five at-bats.

Interlake faced the St. Boniface Legionnaires in a Mother’s Day doubleheader at Whittier Park on May 12, where St. Boniface won both games by scores of 3-2 and 5-3. Game statistics were unavailable at press time.

The Blue Jays’ home game against the Carillon Sultans on May 15 was postponed due to rain. They met the Pembina Valley Orioles at Fines Field on May 17 before taking part in an away doubleheader against the Altona Bisons on Victoria Day May 20.