Pair of Mississauga residents returning home from Tokyo with bronze medals for women’s softball

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Published July 27, 2021 at 8:16 pm

janet_leung

A pair of Mississauga residents will be coming home from Tokyo, Japan with luggage that is a little heavier than when they left.

Natalie Wideman and Janet Leung, both residents of Mississauga and members of the women’s national softball team, will be returning home with shiny bronze medals around their necks, after finishing third with a victory over the Mexican team in the bronze-medal game.

Their third-place finish marks the first time in Canadian history the women’s national team has medaled in softball at the Olympics. 

In the softball tournament, each qualifying team—six in total for the 2020 games in Tokyo—play four round-robin games, with the teams that finish with the top two records playing for gold, and the teams that finish with the third- and fourth-best records playing for bronze.

After winning two and losing two, Canada finished third in the tournament—their two losses came against Japan and the U.S., the teams that ultimately played for gold.

In the bronze-medal game, the Canadians jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning, courtesy of runs from Erika Polidori and Jenn Salling.

In the top of the third, the Mexicans cut into the Canadian lead, then, in the top of the fifth, they evened the score at 2-2.

However, the Canadians responded right away in their half of the fifth, as Leung singled to open the inning, then came around to score later, giving the Canadians a 3-2 lead that would become the final score.

Leung, an infielder, was a part of the team that took bronze in the World Baseball Softball Confederation championships in 2018, as well as the team that took silver at the Pan American games in 2019.

Wideman, a catcher, is one of the veterans in the Canadian locker room, having been a part of the national team since 2012, this is her seventh medal in international competition.

Both women were born and raised in Mississauga. 

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