McMaster Mauraders


McMaster University

Hamilton, ON


We had a chance to converse electronically with the leaders of the McMaster University Fastpitch program. Here is that conversation...

Why should a student athlete consider McMaster?

Ranked top 70 in the world and 4th in Canada, McMaster is a student athlete’s next step in building a brighter world.

McMaster’s highest priorities are teaching and research as the Faculty works hard to establish a close working relationship between the two all levels.  There are 998 faculty members, 97% of whom have PhDs, are first in their classes and come from 55 countries.  It’s all part of MAC’s mission to discover, share and preserve knowledge with a commitment to creativity, excellence and innovative teaching.

 McMaster has 25 undergraduate programs that include:

  •  Arts and Science
  • Bachelor of Technology
  • Business
  • Chemical and Physical Sciences
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • Environmental & Earth Sciences
  • Healthy & Society
  • Health Sciences
  • Honours Integrated Science
  • Honours Kinesiology
  • Humanities
  • Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences
  • Integrated Business and Humanities
  • Life Science
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Medical Radiation
  • Medicine
  • Midwifey
  • Music
  • Nursing
  • Physician Assistant
  • Social Science
  • Studio Art

 McMaster also offers broad opportunities within its Graduate School programming.

What motivates you as a leader of the Marauders Program?

The McMaster Women’s Fast Pitch Coaches staff has opportunity to work young female student athletes who have their whole futures ahead of them.  By being a part of the Fast Pitch Program, it helps shape them into being outstanding well rounded human beings.  To see a student athlete excellence in their academics as well as their personal athletic achievements is truly rewarding.

Who is the Coaching Staff?

  • Dr. Ken Oda has been coaching Women’s Fast Pitch for 22 years and brings a unique perspective of sport medicine, softball techniques and high-performance training.  McMaster is Dr. Oda’s alma mater.
  • Manny Amaro brings 15 years of softball knowledge including specializing in hitting, infield and outfield techniques, special teams - pitcher/catcher development.  Manny is NCCP-Competition-Development, Softball certified.
  • Brittany Hicks, former McMaster Marauder Student Athlete, Most Valuable Player and OIWFA All-Star and silver medalist of the 2012 Team Canada - Softball at the PanAm Games returned to McMaster joining the Coaching Staff to share her knowledge and experience as a high performance.
  • Stephanie Sutton, an Active4Life softball player and NCCP Competition Development, Softball Coach provides support to the Team by ensuring sound softball fundamentals are executed, ensuring a holistic experience for each Student Athlete and providing Team statistics for coaching decisions.


What separates Mac from other OIWFA programs?

Current and former student athletes have this to say about playing Fast Pitch during their time at Mac: 

“The Coaches Staff truly cares about their athletes and their development and growth as a Student Athlete (academics and athletic performance) way more than the pressures of winning a game at all costs.  It is a feeling of family.  This atmosphere makes it fun to play our great sport and we are there because we want to be, not just fulfill a commitment or an expectation.  Winning is only a bonus when the Team plays together.  In speaking with other fellow summer teammates, it appears that they are faced with a great deal of pressure to win and there is tension-creating not the ideal experience” 

“I became a whole STUDENT ATHLETE rather than just a softball player during my time at Mac”

 “I learned to strive for excellence in all I do- on and off the diamond”


What are some fun facts about the Team?

  •  The first official OIWFA game was played between McMaster University and York University
  • One of the founding OIWFA Student Athletes Bekki Vineberg, was a student athlete for York (undergrad) and later became a Marauder and McMaster Graduate-Midwife
  • Four (4) Team Canada Athletes have been a part of the McMaster Women’s Fast Pitch Program- Carey Leigh Thomas, Janet Leung, Shanna Wilson, Brittany Hicks
  • Former Marauder Shannon Galea is a member of the Canadian Olympic Committee
  • Former Head Coach and founding member of the McMaster Women’s Fast Pitch Team- Doug Parry is a recipient of the 2019 OIWFA Outstanding Contributor Award


Where do you play your home games?

Marauder’s Fast Pitch Home Games are played at Victoria Park located in west end of Hamilton.  Victoria Park is a large sports park with a variety of activities including a playground, a fenced in softball diamond, swimming pool, wading pools, tennis /multi-purpose courts and lovely community garden.  The Park has historical significance as the former site of the Crystal Palace.

It truly embraces the heritage of Hamilton and the Team is delighted that we have a permeant home in the heart of city.


How do you recruit?        

You will often see the McMaster Coaches Staff at various tournaments, Coaches Conferences, training opportunities throughout the year as they are engaged in other aspects of the softball community.  We ensure that we are always readily available to speak with potential student athletes, fellow Coaches, Parents and athletes.


Who should a student athlete reach out to?

Here’s the McMaster Women’s Fast Pitch Coaches Staff contact information:



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