By Thomas Debost
Every time Rams fastpitch star Emma Carr thinks about her time with the Canadian women’s baseball team, she beams with pride.
It’s an experience that is one-of-a-kind to the Ryerson shortstop and this past summer she was front and centre on the world stage helping Canada qualify for the Baseball World Cup. Carr was one of the 20 players picked after a three-day selection camp in Okotoks, Alberta.
Considered one of the veterans on the roster, Carr has been playing with Team Canada since 2013.
After getting cut while competing in the junior ranks in 2015, it’s been of importance to Carr to never take representing her country for granted.
“It has definitely brought me a lot of experiences that I thought would never happen in my life,” Carr said. “I get to explore different parts of the world while playing the sport that I love.”
In late August, it brought her to Aguascalientes, Mexico where Canada began their World Cup qualifiers by winning three straight games against the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Cuba.
Canada ranked second in the world behind Japan entering the tournament. They concluded the seven-day competition with a 5-2 record after an 11-1 win over Mexico to secure a bronze medal finish and a spot in the 2020 World Cup.
“Anytime that I get to wear the jersey with Canada across my chest, it gives me chills,” said Carr. “Every year, it’s what I strive for in the offseason and what keeps me going.”
In the eyes of Rams fastpitch head coach Wayne Nishihama, Carr continues to exceed program expectations. Coach Nishihama believes her experience with Team Canada, has put her in a leadership role for the Rams.
“The girls look up to her and she gives a certain credibility to our play,” said Nishihama on Wednesday. “It’s very important that she helps the entire team and that is what we expect from her.”
Last year, the Rams finished fourth in the Ontario University Athletics rankings, just short of a bronze medal game that would have truly been a turning point in the program since it’s inaugural season back in 2016.
With the growth of the club, the expectations are climbing, as the Rams will look to make some noise in their fourth season.
“Playoffs should be a given for us this year, that’s the mindset we want,” said Carr. “I feel like our team is a lot more driven this year than ever since I arrived. Our goal is to medal, period.”
As she enters her last campaign at Ryerson, Carr looks forward to enjoying what could be her final fastpitch experience and coach Nishihama expects her not to shy away from the spotlight.
“We have an opportunity to do something very special this year thanks to her, she just needs to keep doing her thing,” said Nishihama.