Softball Canada Announces 2022 Women’s National Team Coaching Staff
Ottawa, Ont. – Softball Canada is pleased to announce the 2022 Women’s National Team program coaching staff. As previously announced last month, Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, Ont.) has been named head coach of the program and she participated in assistant coach interviews as part of the selection committee. As a result of those interviews, she will be joined by returning assistant coach Chris Jones (Oshawa, Ont.) and recently retired Olympian Jenn Salling (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) to round out the coaching staff.
In addition, Softball Canada has added four other coaches to the Women’s National Team Coaches Pool. Those coaches are Lonni Alameda (Tallahassee, Fla.), Melissa Finley (London, Ont.), Joey Lye (Toronto, Ont.) and Keith Mackintosh (Melfort, Sask.). Coaches pool members will be invited to participate in development, identification and training camps and other National Team events as required.
“I am excited to announce this coaching staff” stated Head Coach Kaleigh Rafter. “The hiring process was extremely competitive and exceeded my expectations in both the quality and quantity of applicants. I believe we have assembled a group of coaches with a great blend of experience and who are passionate about growing the game of softball in Canada. The passion for our game in our country is evident and I look forward to continue to cultivate this excitement in the future.”
Chris Jones (Oshawa, Ont.) returns to the program after serving as an assistant coach from 2019 to 2021, highlighted by a silver medal at the 2019 Pan American Games and a bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games held in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has a wealth of playing experience with the Canadian Men’s National Team program and won gold at the 1995 and 1999 Pan American Games and added a silver medal at the 2004 WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup. Since retiring from his playing career, he has coached at the minor girls’ level and is currently the head coach of Team Ontario for the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games. Jones is a National Coaches Certification Program (NCCP) Competition – Development Certified coach through the Coaching Association of Canada.
Jenn Salling (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) joins the coaching staff after retiring from her playing career following her Olympic record performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games where she hit .571 and earned the bronze medal as a member of Team Canada. She is a two-time Olympian who first appeared with the National Team in 2006 and played in a total of five WBSC Women’s Softball World Cups (three bronze medals) and four Pan American Games (one gold and three silver). Salling also played five seasons of professional softball in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league with the USSSA Pride (2011-13), the Pennsylvania Rebellion (2014) and the Canadian Wild of Southern Illinois (2019). She is an NCCP Competition – Development In Training coach with previous experience as an assistant coach at Roosevelt University, a graduate assistant manager at the University of Washington and a volunteer coach at the University of Central Florida.
Lonni Alameda (Tallahassee, Fla.) was added to the staff as an assistant coach in 2020 and coached at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after leading her Florida State Seminoles to the Women’s College World Series championship series in 2021. She was also an assistant coach with the Canadian National Team for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games cycle.
Melissa Finley (London, Ont.) has been part of the Women’s National Team Coaches Pool since 2017 when she was head coach of the Women’s Elite Team at the Canada Cup. She was an assistant coach for the team the following year and served as an assistant coach with the Junior Women’s National Team for the 2018-19 cycle before being named head coach for 2020-21.
Joey Lye (Toronto, Ont.) is another Tokyo 2020 Olympian who has retired from her playing career and steps into a coaching position. She has many years of coaching experience at the NCAA level since 2010, with stops at her alma mater at Williams College (2010-11), Stevenson University (2011-16), Lebanon Valley College (2017) and Bucknell University (2018-20). She is an NCCP Competition – Development In Training coach.
Keith Mackintosh (Melfort, Sask.) continues with the Women’s National Team Coaches Pool after spending four cycles with the Junior Women’s National Team program, including the last two as Head Coach and led the 2019 team to Canada’s first-ever WBSC Junior Women’s World Cup bronze medal. He is an NCCP Competition – Development Certified coach and is an owner and coach/instructor of the 222’s Fastpitch program.
The Canadian Women’s National Team is currently slated to compete at the Canada Cup in Surrey, B.C. (June 20-26), the World Cup/World Games in Birmingham, Alabama (July 9-13) and the WBSC Americas Pan American Championship (dates and location to be determined) in 2022.
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