BET À DAY
Rosalie Dufresne used to catch balls thrown at 90 miles per hour, but she will do it even more often this summer. The catcher has just signed a contract with the Charlesbourg Alouettes, in the Quebec Junior Elite Baseball League.
Officially, Rosalie is the first woman to sign a pact with a team of the LBJEQ, the league confirmed to the Journal on Monday.
But if she were to see action with the Alouettes, the 18-year-old athlete would be the second to play in the circuit, after the pitcher Victoria Lachance, of the Aigles de Trois-Rivières.
Victoria Lachance, pitcher of the Aigles, became in 2019 the first transgender to play in the LBJEQ.
Three years ago, she became the first transgender woman in the LBJEQ, after her first campaign in the league.
Alouettes coach Josué Peley has known Rosalie for a long time. He's been running it with the Canonniers de Québec sports-study program since high school.
“It was she who asked me if she could come and train with the Alouettes a few week, when she is not playing with Team Quebec,” he says.
A proposal that the coach immediately accepted.
“The first time I came with the team was to warm up the relievers,” explained the young woman. There was nothing official. I didn't even have an Alouettes t-shirt, I was wearing one from Team Quebec, my women's team.”
“Afterwards, Josué suggested that I be at 100 % with the Alouettes. And I immediately replied: “well yes!”. It was an offer I couldn't refuse.”
Rosalie is a baseball fanatic. The athlete from Quebec has been playing there since she was “3 or 4 years old”. Most of the time, she wears the colors of Équipe Québec senior.
The receiver also participated in the Team Canada tryouts last year in Trois-Rivières. She was not selected, but did not give up on this dream.
The Alouettes, therefore, constitute for Rosalie a golden opportunity to perfect her game.
“I play with girls, but I wanted more fastballs, more baseball,” she says.
And if he is not excluded by his coach than she eventually sees action during a match, the ambulance technician student says she is fully satisfied with her current role.
“If they are in trouble, they lack receivers, maybe I will play. For now, I warm up the pitchers as needed. But I'm tripping at the moment, I'm catching balls, that suits me perfectly,” says Rosalie, laughing.
“One of the boys»
And the integration into a men's team, how is it going?
« It was not a problem, points out his trainer. Half of the guys also train with me at sports-studies, so they already knew her. Rosalie is cool, we often say that she is one of the boys.”
“One of the reasons why I agreed to stay, adds the young woman, is that there were a lot of players that I knew. Being the only girl in a team of guys aged 17 to 22 can set you back. But there I knew them, they talk to me, it's super fun.”
“The little warrior”
LBJEQ Commissioner Rodger Brulotte spoke Monday of Rosalie's signing as “an important moment for all female baseball players.”
Director of the sports-studies program Canonniers de Québec, Jean-Philippe Roy, for his part, underlined the tenacity of “the little warrior”, whom he has known for several years.
“She has worked so hard for a long time. At the start, you had to be careful, she couldn't be the catcher for just any pitcher. And for the past two or three years, she has been a catcher for the best pitchers in the Quebec region, guys who throw at 90 miles an hour,” praised Mr. Roy.