From Hudson Bay to the international stage: Former Ace Brook Melnychuk named to Softball Canada Women’s National Team

Photo by Hunter Corneliusen. Brook Melnychuk has recently been named to the Softball Canada Women's National Team. Melnychuk recently completed her red shirt junior season with Louisiana Tech.

Brook Melnychuk has been no stranger to travel throughout her softball career.

Melnychuk was named to the Softball Canada Women’s National Team roster earlier this week. She was the only player from Saskatchewan to make the roster.

Melnychuk says she is looking forward to the opportunity to be a role model for younger girls in Saskatchewan and across the country.

“I love getting to represent Saskatchewan. That’s always my home. My parents still live there. I’m even more proud to represent my hometown, which is Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan. That community has always just been a really great support and they’ve been following me through this whole journey.”

“To make Team Canada, it doesn’t even honestly feel real. This is just gonna be an awesome experience. It’s just amazing to get to represent this country because I remember when I was a little girl and watching Team Canada play, like I thought it was awesome. I really just am so excited to be a representation to girls in Saskatchewan mostly, but also girls in Canada as well. I’m really excited to inspire young girls and be a leader out there.”

Melnychuk, a Hudson Bay product, often made the 250 kilometer trip to Prince Albert to play for the Aces softball program growing up. Her parents Louise and Mark made the commitment to drive Brook when she played for the Aces and she credits the opportunity to play higher level softball for where she is today.

“My parents were super dedicated and drove me to two and a half hours to PA twice a week and then tournaments. I’m very blessed, but PA was my first case of playing higher level ball in city ball and I had great coaches throughout PA. I had amazing teammates from all over Saskatchewan in the PA area and I think that it was just amazing to get to play for that program for quite a while. It was definitely my first case of playing higher level softball.”

Melnychuk, a pitcher by trade, appeared in 36 games this season for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, an NCAA Division I school in Ruston, Louisiana. She posted a 2.77 ERA in 124 innings striking out 67 batters while walking 31.

Melnychuk says the mental side of the game as a pitcher has helped improve her confidence both on and off the diamond.

“I think as a young girl, I always struggled with confidence and being the center of attention, that was never my personality. The ability to be a pitcher and be that strong center of force in the circle with all eyes on you has grown me so much as a person. Confidence wise, I’m able to take control. It’s a position that’s mentally tough. There’s been good days and bad days. It’s been a blessing to me. I’ve learned so much about what I’m like when there’s failure and what I’m like with success. That mentality behind it has been huge in shaping how I know myself personally.”

Following her high school career, Melnychuk took her talents south of the border joining the Iowa Western Community College Reivers in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

As a sophomore, Melnychuk shined with a 27-8 record, 1 67 ERA, struck out 271 batters while walking 66 in 214.0 innings of work for the Reivers.

Her 27 wins ranked second in the country, while the 271 strikeouts were third. She was named the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC) Pitcher of the Year and was named a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) second-team All-American.

Among single season pitching records for the Reivers, Melnychuk ranks third in wins and strikeouts and her 1.67 ERA is tied for fifth best in program history.

Not having many offers coming out of high school, Melnychuk says Reiver head coach Ben Greer offered her a spot without seeing her play in person.

“He took a chance on me. I didn’t have many offers out of high school or talking to a lot of schools, so he took a chance. He never saw me pitch. I think Junior College is a different beast because it’s a grind. There’s long hours of practice and you’re fighting to get your dream of playing Division I softball. Every day is a grind. There’s a little bit more pressure behind the game because you’re kind of betting on yourself. Junior College is definitely my favorite college experience and I love it. I think it made me stronger as a person as well.”

Melnychuk will compete for Canada at the P5 Colorado Event in Fort Collins, Colorado from June 26-28 as well as the Canada Cup in Surrey, British Columbia from July 1-7.

Melnychuk will also transfer from Louisiana Tech to Clemson for her final season of NCAA eligibility.