In addition to the prestige of helping the Clarkson Golden Knights become the first non-WCHA conference team to capture an NCAA Frozen Four, Daniella (Ella) Matteucci is equally talented on the diamond. A member of the Canadian national baseball team that shall compete in women’s baseball at the 2015 Pan American Games, she is hoping for another victorious outcome.
Considering that this marks the first time that women’s baseball is being contested in a major multi-national sporting competition, the chance to be a part of history only adds to the excitement. Among five players on the roster that shall comprise Team Canada’s outfield, it is an extension of Matteucci’s already promising baseball career.
Having actually started baseball at the age of three, the Fruitvale-raised Matteucci has held the rare prestige of playing for both the British Columbia provincial women’s hockey team (at the 2011 Canada Winter Games) and with the provincial baseball team. In addition, she has experienced several athletic glories while a member of the prestigious Notre Dame Hounds.
During her senior season at Notre Dame, she was the only female on the boys’ team. Playing against a Midget AA boys’ team, she hurled a no-hitter. Before she would graduate from Notre Dame, she would register two assists in the 2011 Esso Cup championship game, a Midget AAA national women’s hockey championship. Fittingly, she was honored as Notre Dame’s Female Athlete of the Year.
Before she would join Clarkson in the autumn of 2011, she spent her summer making her debut for the Canadian national women’s baseball team. Participating in an exhibition series against the US national team in Cary, North Carolina (the headquarters for USA Baseball’s national training center)
Juggling the obligations of both hockey and baseball for her entire athletic life, the 2014 ECAC All-Academic selection experienced a career milestone when she earned the starting assignment against Japan at the 2014 Women’s World Cup of Baseball. As the only player on the 2014 Canadian roster who had not played in a World Cup, the loss against Japan was not a baptism of fire, but a learning experience.
Part of a 2015 senior class at Clarkson that included Jenna Boss, Emily Horn, Christine Lambert and Jennifer Shields, there was little time to reflect upon graduation. During the month of May, she was part of a Canadian national womens’ training camp that took place at Toronto’s Rogers Centre (formerly known as SkyDome). Three other women’s hockey players join her on Canada’s baseball roster, including former Wilfrid Laurier competitors Kate Psota and Ashley Stephenson, along with former York Lions skater Autumn Mills.
Named to the final roster of 20 players, Matteucci is one of four women from British Columbia that shall don the Canadian jersey. Joining her are Amanda Asay, Niki Boyd and Becky Hartley. Ranked fourth in the world by the International Baseball Federation, a collision course with the second-ranked United States in the gold medal game is expected.
Considering all the remarkable milestones and trimphs that she has already experienced in her young yet accomplished athletic career, it would come as no surprise if Matteucci emerges from the Pan American Games with a gold medal.
Images obtained from Canadian Olympic Committee and Clarkson Athletics