The story of the 1971 Waterford Mott’s Canadettes actually began in 1970 when Stan Mott was approached to sponsor one player on the team. Instead, he decided to sponsor the entire team, and thus the journey began.
The initial season saw the team achieve moderate success under the direction of coaches Herb White, Winston Botting, and Erv Depner.
In only their second year, the team took off, led by coaches Matt and Frank Menich. These talented young women jelled on and off the field to become the talk of Waterford and area.
The team was made up of 18 women ranging in age from 16 to 35. When asked why he kept so many on the team, coach Matt Menich said he could not turn away local girls who really wanted to play.
As it turned out, all 18 players were needed. The Canadettes, involved in both league and provincial playoffs, were made to play two different play-off games in one night, with the venues 100 miles apart.
Not playing would mean forfeiting the series, so nine players went to Sebringville and nine went to Stevensville. The Canadettes lost both games, but these were the only losses in either series.
Because of their aggressive play, their solid fundamentals, and the excitement they brought to the game, the Canadettes became respected and admired throughout Southwestern Ontario, and were the toast of Waterford.
In 1971, the Waterford Mott’s Canadettes won the Provincial Women’s Softball Union’s Intermediate fastball title, and were also Niagara and District League Champions.
Team members included sponsor Stan Mott and coaches Matt and Frank Menich, as well as Brenda Onifrichuk, Gloria Proracki, Marg Williams, Lyn Mullin, Sharon LeGros, Barb Smith, Rita (Botting) Kalmbach, Jean Braun, Nancy Pollard, Mary Lou Pursley, Liz Guiler, Margie Bergen-Hoy, Debbie (Faludi) Halmo, Wendy Fess, Ann (Pursley) Page, Brenda (Cunningham) Bradley, Joyce (Barr) Nicks, and Fran Jackson.
Based on initial profile written by Don Stewart.