Kelsey Lalor, a third-year kinesiology student on the Huskie Athletics basketball team, will be returning to campus fresh off of an exciting trip to the Women’s Baseball World Cup in Viera, Florida. This trip marks her third appearance on the world stage of women’s baseball.
Lalor excelled during the tournament with a .346 hitting average including a homerun, three stolen bases and a .990 average on-base plus slugging. Team Canada competed against eleven other countries for the title of world champion and ended the tournament by beating Team USA for the bronze medal.
Lalor speaks on her experience in the tournament.
“Having the opportunity to compete in an international competition like this is such an amazing experience, and having the chance to represent your country is an incredible feeling,” Lalor said, in an email to the Sheaf. “This was my third World Cup, and it was still just as exciting as my first.”
Alongside the honour of representing Canada in this international tournament, Lalor was also selected to be a part of the All-World Team, which recognizes the top performer for each position. Lalor describes how it felt to make the All-World Team along with just 11 other athletes.
“Being named to this team is an absolute honour, and it is something that I will cherish forever. There are so many talented women’s baseball players, and there are many more than just 11 who deserve to be recognized for their spectacular performances in Florida,” Laylor said.
Lalor also elaborates on some of the other exciting opportunities she has enjoyed as part of her athletic career.
“I’ve been lucky to have had many exciting sports opportunities throughout my life, but I think my favourite was competing at the Pan American Games in 2015,” Lalor said. “Being in that atmosphere was such a neat feeling, and being a part of a multi-sport game was something that I will never forget — it’s so cool to be around world-class athletes and to see record-breaking performances.”
Playing one sport at an elite level can be a challenging task, let alone performing in two. Lalor makes it work, however, and speaks to the similarities and differences she found between baseball and basketball.
“I think the two games are very different from each other when you look at the strategy and how the game is played,” Lalor said. “I enjoy baseball because it is an individual game within a team setting… Individual performance is important when it comes to the team’s success, but in order for the team to win, all the individuals must work together as a single unit. Basketball is a team game by nature.”
Despite these differences, however, Lalor states that being a multisport athlete has improved her abilities in each sport, respectively.
“Lots of the mental skills can be used in both games, and I have seen a growth in my mindset as a player over the past couple years as a result of playing both sports,” Lalor said. “Both baseball and basketball really emphasize a strong team connection, and the one thing that I have learned from both sports is how to be a good teammate.”
With the Women’s Baseball World Cup behind her, Lalor will be looking forward to the upcoming Huskies Basketball season — which is slated to start with an exhibition game against the Lakehead Thunderwolves on Oct. 11. Lalor, for one, is optimistic about the season ahead.
“I think our team will be very strong again, and getting back into competition is always the best part of the season,” Laylor said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing how much we can grow as a team over the next seven months.”
Jack Thompson / Sports & Health Editor
Photo: Supplied / Kelsey Lalor