Baseball Canada

Pitcher Claire Eccles to become first woman to play in West Coast League

Pitcher Claire Eccles will become the first woman to play in Canada’s West Coast League, an 11-team summer developmental league for some of the top college baseball talent in North America.

Eccles, who has played two seasons of softball for the University of British Columbia, is one of the top pitchers for the Baseball Canada women’s national team. She will play for the Victoria HarbourCats this summer, beginning May 30.

Eccles, a 19-year-old left-handed pitcher, mainly throws a knuckleball and a curveball.

“A hundred percent Claire is good enough to play on our team,” HarbourCats general manager Brad Norris-Jones told CBC. “Is it going to be a challenge for Claire? Absolutely. We’re just going to get everyone involved and show that in 2017 this isn’t different, this isn’t weird. It’s normal.”

[More from Excelle Sports: Emma Charlesworth-Seiler becomes eighth woman to umpire in an affiliated league]

Eccles previously pitched in two Women’s Baseball World Cups and the 2015 Pan-Am Games.

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