By Sarah Meinecke
TELEGRAPH STAFF WRITER
On the morning of Jan. 19, Katie Rosentreter sat behind her desk in the Mercer athletics department offices, anxiously checking for new e-mail.
She was expecting a new message around 9 a.m. that morning, and 10 minutes before that deadline, all Rosentreter could do was hit the refresh button.
When it finally came, Rosentreter glanced down until she saw what she was looking for - her name on the Team Canada roster.
"There was a two-week period when I didn't know what was going on," said Rosentreter, a former Mercer softball player and current graduate assistant. "We were all going to get e-mails (to see if we had made the team). I called my parents and every family member I could think of.
"It's the realization of a dream, something I have chased since I was 6 years old."
Needless to say, it was a pretty good e-mail.
In fact, the missive was from the Canadian National Team selection committee informing Rosentreter that she had been chosen to be a member of Team Canada. The honor meant the left-handed pitcher would be participating in such tournaments as the Pam American Games, the Canada Cup, the U.S. World Cup and the World University games.
Rosentreter, a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, would also get a chance to try out for the Canadian Olympic Team.
"It's an honor to play for your country and getting to wear the Canada name," Rosentreter said. "Not only are you representing your country, but you are playing with and against some of the best athletes in the world."
It wasn't long ago that Rosentreter was merely watching those athletes when the Pan American games were held in her hometown in 1999. Rosentreter remembers watching a softball game that pitted Team Canada against Team USA that year and even getting autographs afterwards. She called herself, "the ultimate fan" that day.
And now she gets her own chance to experience other fans just like her this summer. Rosentreter begins playing with Team Canada on June 17 and will open the summer tour at the Canada Cup on June 30. From there she will travel to Oklahoma for the U.S. Cup before the team goes international at the Pan Am games in Brazil on July 16.
The final leg of the summer ends at the World University Games in Thailand on Aug. 18.
"She carried herself wonderfully," former Mercer softball coach Tony Foti said of Rosentreter's performance at the Team Canada tryouts on Jan. 2-7 in Las Vegas. "She did what was expected of her. She was consistent and confident, and being a left-handed pitcher is a great advantage."
It was also a great advantage for the Mercer softball team when Rosentreter was a team member from 2002-06. Foti, who has vague memories of coaching Rosentreter as an 8-year-old in Manitoba, recruited Rosentreter out of high school.
Immediately, she made an impact with the Bears, earning a start her freshman season. She went 17-12 during her senior season alone, finishing her final year with a 1.68 ERA. Rosentreter struck out 245 batters her senior year, which led the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Rosentreter holds records at Mercer in opponent batting average, appearances, shutouts, strikeouts and earned run average.
"In our game of fast pitch, the hardest position to recruit is pitching," Foti said. "Mercer never had that dominant of a pitcher, so it didn't take much for someone to come in and break the records. The only thing is, she blew them out of the water. It's a testament to her and her ability."
As is being named to the Canadian National Team.
Contact Meinecke at 744-4248 or firstname.lastname@example.org