By Zachary Hossler
Skylynne Ellazar, a rising senior on the Terrapins softball team, is taking part in the Canada Cup International Softball Championships in British Columbia, Canada, starting Tuesday, July 11. Ellazar, a native of Kahului, Hawaii, is a member of the Philippines national team. Ellazar is coming off a season where she hit .297 for the Terps, second highest on the team, including a nine-game hit streak to end the season. She was also named captain of the infield.
Ellazar described the process of making the international team as a one-week tryout before the World Cup, during the week coaches made some decisions of who would get the opportunity to represent the Philippines at the World Cup and Canada Cup.
Last week, Ellazar took part in the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City, Okla. where the Philippines finished in fifth place. The Philippines finished the tournament with a two-game sweep of Mexico, where Ellazar went a combined 3-6 with a run scored to close out the World Cup.
“This experience has been awesome,” said Ellazar. “It was an awesome feeling to share the field with some of the best players in the world.”
While “Maryland Pride” has become a way of life for Ellazar during her Terrapin career, wearing “Philippines” across her chest has elicited an unique feeling for the Pacific Islander.
“It’s such an honor and privilege to not only myself but my family and people of the Philippines,” said Ellazar. “It is amazing to see the joy they have when they can get that W for their country.”
During the World Cup, Ellazar faced new Maryland assistant coach, Victoria Hayward, who plays for Team Canada and also Australian Olympian, Stacey Porter.
“The competition is really intense,” Ellazar said. “You’re playing with grown women and their strength is incomparable to college.”
Ellazar sees the experience playing at the international level as an invaluable one, as she gears up for one final season for the Terps next spring.
“Playing with some Filipino Americans on the team who have been a part of successful softball programs in the U.S has allowed me to pick their brains and get a sense of their winning mindset,” Ellazar said. “I’m excited to get back to College Park and share my experiences and knowledge with the team.”
Ellazar hopes that this experience will allow her to instill the value of playing for something bigger than yourself and also having fun while doing it. She feels her team will be primed for a successful season in 2018.
With the Canada Cup in full swing this week Ellazar is looking forward to another slate of international competition, and another opportunity to face coach Hayward on the diamond.
“It was cool to see her play,” Ellazar said about Hayward. “I am excited to get to play against her one more time here at the Canada Cup.”
Ellazar and the Philippines opened up tournament play on Tuesday against Pakistan and will also play Canada. Chinese Taipei is the final country in their pool. Ellazar and the rest of the Philippines national team will look to build off of a successful end to the World Cup this week up in Canada.