Last November was a magical time for McMaster University Marauders women’s fastpitch player Angelina Bomberry.
Bomberry, who began her softball career in 2009, with the Six Nations Lil Storm Atom “A” team, developed a strong passion for the sport which saw her accomplish so many incredible feats, including last November when she was the proud recipient for the Wendy Cathcart Bursary,
“I received an e-mail notification in early November from the PWSA Scholarship Committee Co-Chair, informing me I was a recipient of the Wendy Cathcart Bursary. I then attended a virtual meeting where I was able to give my thanks and accept the award,” Bomberry said.
This gifted women’s softball player who pitches, plays first base along with left and right field also added,
“I was very excited to learn I would be receiving this award. It was a moment of pride to know that I am capable of reaching goals when I put them out there for myself. Although I did, realize applying to scholarship and bursaries is a competitive process and knowing the chances in receiving an award is very limited, I still kept my head up and hoped for the best when I sent in my application. My parents and family were also happy and excited to learn of this bursary being granted to. They too were very proud and would always reassure me of how proud they are of me.”
Interestingly enough even though Bomberry has a strong passion and gift for playing ball, it wasn’t love at first sight when years ago, she took to the field to give the sport a try in her first practice.
“My parents and Great Aunt Bev encouraged me to play the game even though I was hesitant at first.
My older sister also played softball and watching her games heightened my interest to play even more. It’s actually a funny story when I went to my first practice for the very first time. I was hesitant to stay at the practice. When we were on a break, I told my mother that I wanted to go home. She said, “Let’s go then”, but suddenly something clicked in my brain to go back out there and try it again. So, I did give ball a second chance.” Bomberry went on to add, “After the practice was over, I was gabbing my mom’s ear off in the car saying, ‘I don’t know why I didn’t want to play softball.’ Over the years, I have received nothing but support and guidance from my coaches, teammates, fans, my family and friends.”
Bomberry, who credits her parents and family for the love and support they give her, has over the years had the opportunities to participate and fine tune her game in such events as Jenna Caira’s 2017 Softball Camp with Team Canada members, where she was educated in such aspects as nutrition/fitness, defence/offence and pitching. She also improved and gained even more confidence and knowledge when she took advantage of that chance to participate in hitting, fielding and fielding sessions with Team Canada Winter Training Academy Program with Softball Canada in 2017. A year later, she was on the field competing at the 2018 Regional Skills Development Academy with Softball Canada.
“Even though the games can be stressful, I am always happy when I am playing softball,” Bomberry said. “It helps me clear my mind because I am focused only on the game and I give it my all. My strengths I hold within my sport are dedication, strength, being a team player and keeping my cool mojo! I believe that I am a very coachable player because I am always willing to learn, try a new drill, hustle every play and give everything my 110%. When I get down on myself, I try to breathe, reflect on what I did and then brush it off, because making mistakes and failing is just a new opportunity to get better and be stronger.”
As mentioned earlier, Bomberry’s career began way back in 2009 with the Six Nations Lil Storm Atom ‘A’ squad where, she first experienced the thrill of winning as they went on to win the Haldimand Erie League and ORSA championship.
A few summers later, in 2012, Bomberry went to the Provincial Women’s Softball Association (PWSA) where she played for the Brantford Bobcats squirt team. The following summer, 2013 until 2015, Bomberry returned to play on Six Nations where she played with the Lassie, Pee Wee, and Bantam squads. Once again Bomberry experienced that ultimate thrill of winning when in 2013, she was part of a magical summer which saw her Six Nations HU Orange Lassie team win Haldimand Erie League and ORSA Championship.
Continuing to win championships, Bomberry once again found herself celebrating when a year later, as a member of the Six Nations Pee Wee girls’ softball team, they went on to win the 2014 Haldimand Erie League title along with the ORSA Championship.
During the years, Bomberry got to experience many other life long memories such as the summer of 2017 where she played for the Team Ontario U16 Softball Team which took home silver from the North American Indigenous Games.
“It was truly an honor to represent Team Ontario and play alongside a great group of softball athletes,” Bomberry said.
Adding to her achievements, a year later in 2018, Bomberry played for the Six Nations HU Orange Midget Tier 1 team (PWSA), where that summer they celebrated a gold at the Darien Lake Softball Tournament. Arguably her best moment that season came when playing for the UTM East Bantam team she muscled a memorable homerun at the Rock the Park tournament.
The following year, when playing for the UTM East Tier 2 Midget Fastpitch squad (PWSA), after her team finished the season in ‘A’ pool at Provincial Qualifier, and placed fifth, Bomberry received some strong praise from Coach MacCallum.
“Angelina’s performance against one of the top teams in Provincials was one of our highlights this season. In this particular game, Angelina was our starting pitcher and held the eventual Silver medalist in both the Province and National Championships scoreless heading into the last inning. Angelina’s performance in this particular game was one of our best individual performances of the season. Angelina is one of the hardest working players I have had the privilege of coaching.”
Bomberry who also played for her high school Assumption College is presently in her second year at Mc Master University where she is studying a combined honors program in Anthropology and Indigenous Studies.
Reflecting on her greatest memories of playing ball over the years, Bomberry was quick to state,
“My best memories are every win that my teams have acquired over the years, playing and receiving a silver medal in the NAIG in 2017, making my university team during my first year at McMaster and guiding my team to grab the bronze medal.”
Bomberry also added a touching message about her hometown softball playing heroes,
“My Great Aunt Bev Beaver, Carey-Leigh Vyse, Jess Martin and Amber Silversmith. All of these ladies, throughout the years provided encouragement and helpful softball tips for improving my game. Having the opportunity to continue to play the sport I love at post-secondary and, being a Haudenosaunee female athlete, I will strive to ensure other female athletes have the same opportunities and access to sport and recreation programs as I have.”
Showing her true appreciation Bomberry also added, “I would like to give thanks to the Dreamcatchers Fund, Jenna Caira, Carey-Leigh Vyse, Jared Miller, Warrior Athletic Park, all of the coaches over the years; and last but not least my family and Great Aunt Bev Beaver who have supported me throughout my softball tourney.”