Stephanie Horsley is just coming off her second season as a member of the University of Regina Cougars women’s softball team.
The 19-year-old Williams Lake softball pitcher recently helped lead her team into the Canadian Collegiate Softball Association National Championships, squaring off against the top eight teams in the country.
“It’s been an amazing experience,” Horsley said. “Since our season is so short it’s really jam-packed but it’s tons of fun. I’ve met lots of people, played so many great teams and it’s just been an awesome experience.”
The CCSANC began in Regina on Saturday, Oct. 6 and wrapped up Monday, Oct. 8 following a 30-game regular season over the first six weeks of the school year.
The Cougars finished the tournament sixth out of eight teams with one win and three losses. Horsley, who said she prefers to come off the bench in relief, was called to the mound in three of the team’s four playoff games.
“We did as well as we were expected to do,” she said. “We’re quite a young team. We’re primarily made up of first-year players. Out of the 20 players we have on our roster only seven are returning players.”
The Cougars’ win came as a 9-2 triumph over the University of Lethbridge Storm.
“We also had a very close game and almost came back against the University of Saskatchewan,” she said. “We were down 6-0 after the first inning and then I came in and pitched and we managed to hold them off until the seventh inning.
“I ended up playing in three of the games. I started one and pitched in three total.”
Horsley, who plans to return to Williams Lake this summer for her third year as a coach in the Williams Lake Minor Fastball Association, said she honed her pitching skills at a young age.
“I learned when I was really young — probably when I was four or five,” she said. “My dad would take me out and practice with me and spent hours and hours helping me be the player I am today.”
In the summer Horsley also attended the Canadian Open Fastpitch Championships in South Surrey as a member of Team B.C. She was the only player north of Kelowna chosen for the team.
“We ended up coming sixth out of nine teams,” she said. “All of the teams there were ladies teams so they were much older and much more experienced than us, so we did pretty well.”
Coming up for Horsley and the Cougars are a series of softball camps for the Regina minor fastball association.
“The players run the camps,” she said. “So we’ll teach the minor girls association over the winter in camps at the university.
“We have about 30 girls in camps and there’s a lot of young talent here.”