Longtime Canadian women's baseball team member Amanda Asay dies at 33

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  • Amanda Asay
    Canadian baseball player

NELSON, B.C. — Baseball Canada says Amanda Asay, the longest-serving member of the Canadian women's baseball team program, has died after a skiing accident in Nelson, B.C.

The native of Prince George, B.C., was 33.

A federation statement did not provide details on the cause of death or specifics on when the accident happened or the date of her death.

A Baseball Canada spokesman says more information will likely be forthcoming soon, along with funeral arrangements.

Asay, who joined the program in 2005, helped Canada win silver at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto.

She also helped the national team win World Cup medals in 2006, '08, '12, '16 and '18.

"Amanda was a one-of-a-kind teammate, the type of player and person who you loved to compete with every game,” said Ashley Stephenson, who played with Asay on the Canadian team and also coached her for two seasons. “Under the circumstances, I cannot put into words how tragic this loss is for everyone who knew Amanda.

"My thoughts at this time and my heart go out to her family.”

Asay recently participated in the women's national team showcase last summer in Trois-Rivieres, Que.

“This is really difficult news for our women’s national team program,” said André Lachance, who managed Asay on various national teams from 2005-18. “Amanda was an amazing person who meant a great deal to our program. She was a competitor who possessed all of the characteristics that you look for in a baseball player.

"She was versatile, intelligent and competitive, who rose to the challenge on many occasions. Above all, she was a terrific person who will leave a lasting impact on many people, not only with the women’s national team program but all of those who were lucky enough to meet her.”

Asay also played hockey and softball for Brown University (2006-09) before continuing her studies at the University of British Columbia, where she attained a master’s degree in science and a PhD in forestry.

She also played two seasons for the university's Thunderbirds hockey team.

“The loss of Amanda is felt in so many places it’s hard to put into words,” added former baseball teammate Nicole Luchanski, who also worked with Asay in the forestry profession. “She was a truly exceptional athlete, leader, friend, family member, and forestry professional.

“She improved everything she touched and the loss of such a positive, smart, hard-working, and loyal person is unbearable.”

Asay was just 17 when she caught the eye of women's national team evaluators in 2005. She made her World Cup debut in Taiwan the following year and earned all-tournament honours at first base, winning the team's MVP award.

She captured MVP honours again in 2016 but this time as a pitcher. Asay threw a complete game in a semifinal win over Chinese Taipei at the World Cup in South Korea.

Asay was known for her positive attitude, a business-like approach on the field and setting an example for others with her play, the federation said.

“On behalf of Baseball Canada’s board of directors and national office, I offer sincerest condolences to Amanda’s loved ones, including her parents Loris and George and her brother Brad,” said Baseball Canada president and CEO Jason Dickson.

“Her contributions to women’s baseball and our national team will be remembered forever and will serve as inspiration for future generations.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 9, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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