The Smitty’s senior women’s softball team from Winnipeg won the Softball Canada senior A fast pitch championship in 1995, 1996 and 1997. The 1995 title ended a 30-year drought for Manitoba. CUAC Blues, who were inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 1992, won the province’s only other senior A women’s championship in 1965, the first year of the national competition. In 1995 in Burlington, Ont., Smitty’s beat the defending champions from Dorchester, Ont., 3-1 in the final to capture the national title. The following year in Saskatoon, Smitty’s beat White Rock, B.C., 8-1 in the championship game. The host team from New Brunswick lost 6-0 to Smitty’s in the gold medal game at the 1997 championship in St. Antoine. During the three-year run, the Manitoba squad won 27 games and lost just five. Smitty’s was a finalist for the Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association team of the year award in 1995 and 1996 and won it in 1997. The team was named Softball Manitoba team of the year in 1995 and 1997.
The genesis of Smitty’s happened at Winnipeg’s Grant Park Harrow Community Club in 1975 when Evelyne and Roy Holenski formed a pee wee A girls' team that won the provincial championship. After competing successfully in various minor categories, the team moved to senior in 1984 and finished fifth in the nationals. Smitty’s represented Manitoba in every Canadian championship from 1986 to 1990, but the team’s best finish was fourth in 1987. A breakthrough for Manitoba at the national level finally came in 1991 when the team won bronze. Smitty’s finished fourth the following season, but won bronze again in 1993 and silver in 1994. A key to Smitty’s success throughout the years was the stable environment and positive direction provided by the leaders the players called Mr. and Mrs. H. The team always had a strong nucleus and about 75% of the roster was with the team for the three Canadian championships. This talented group always played as a unit and competed with the “Smitty’s Attitude” – with commitment, focus, perseverance, belief in their team-mates and coaches, respect for officials and the opposition and with great class.
Roster: Rose Blatz (1997), Stacy Bouchard (1995), Stacy (Dobbyn) Bruce (1996 & 1997), Brandi Chammartin (1995 & 1996), Brandie Christensen (1996 & 1997), Juanita Clayton (1995 & 1996), Linda (Stewart) Dmyterko (1995), Rhonda Denbow (1995, 1996 & 1997), Karen Doell (1995, 1996 & 1997), Melanie (Ponomets) Fernandes (1996), Kendra Floyde (1995), Susan Heapy (1995, 1996 & 1997), Nada Hlohovsky (1996 & 1997), Jami Jacyk (1995, 1996 & 1997), Sandy (Love) Johnson (1995 & 1997), Janice Labarre (1996), Jody Lanyon (1995 & 1997), Carla MacMillan (1997), Jill Mathez (1995, 1996 & 1997), Sandy Newsham (1995, 1996 & 1997), Deb Sonnenberg (1995, 1996 & 1997), Connie (Burnett) Taillon (1995), Tara (Brown) Tremblay (1995), Amanda (Potter) Unrau (1995 & 1996), Melissa Winning (1996)
Coach (1995, 1996 & 1997) Roy Holenski, Coach (1995) Tony Foti, Assistant Coach (1995, 1996 & 1997) Evelyne Holenski, Assistant Coach (1995, 1996 & 1997) Sharon Martin