Thirty-four athletes selected to USA Softball Women’s National Teams
OKLAHOMA CITY — The road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games continues as USA Softball announced today the rosters for the 2018 Women’s National Teams. Seventeen athletes have been named to a World Championship roster, which is slated to compete at the World Cup of Softball and the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s World Championship, August 2-12 in Chiba, Japan, while an additional 17 athletes will represent the United States at the Japan All-Star Series and compete as a second National Team at the World Cup of Softball.
“This was a very good week of softball in some adverse weather conditions,” said Head Coach Ken Eriksen (Tampa, Fla./head coach South Florida). “To that point, I am pleased with the Selection Committee’s choices in determining the 34 players that will represent the United States on the softball field this summer.”
Click here to see the athletes selected to the 2018 USA Softball Women’s National Teams
In addition to naming two rosters for the 2018 Women’s National Teams, USA Softball is also proud to announce the selection of four-time Olympian Laura Berg (Corvallis, Ore./head coach at Oregon State) and Patty Gasso (Norman, Okla./head coach at Oklahoma) as Head Coaches for two 2018 international competitions. Joining Ken Eriksen, who was recently named as the Head Coach for the WBSC Women’s World Championship, Berg will lead the U.S. at the Japan All-Star Series while Gasso will spearhead the second Women’s National Team at the World Cup of Softball XIII.
During the selection process, athletes participated in position drills as well as simulated games and were evaluated by the USA Softball Women’s National Team Selection Committee (WNTSC).
The 2018 USA Softball World Championship roster will look to defend their Gold Medal finish at the 2016 WBSC Women’s World Championship while also qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. At the 2016 WBSC World Championship, the team claimed the 10th overall World Championship title for the WNT program and finished with a .436 team batting average, 19 home runs, 80 RBI and outscored opponents 83-10. The pitching staff was lights out, allowing just eight earned runs for a 1.19 ERA.
Highlighting the Women’s World Championship Roster:
– An Olympic Silver Medalist
– 10 veterans from the 2016 World Championship roster
– Four Team USA rookies
Highlighting the Japan All-Star Series Roster and second World Cup of Softball Roster:
– An Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist
– Five World Champions and six Junior World Champions
– Three athletes from the 2017 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team
– Five Team USA rookies
A full list of National Team events, including exhibition games, will be released at a later date. Follow along all summer with all of the USA Softball National Teams at USASoftball.com.
2018 World Championship Roster
Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.
San Jose, Calif.
Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
2018 Japan All-Star Series Roster
Elk Grove, Calif.
Allen Park, Mich.
San Diego, Calif.
West Covina, Calif.
San Jose, Calif.
Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.
North Canton, Ohio
Garden Grove, Calif.
©2017 United States Olympic Committee. All Rights Reserved.
Ken Eriksen named Head Coach of the 2018 USA Softball Women’s National Team
OKLAHOMA CITY – USA Softball, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, announced today that Ken Eriksen (Tampa, Fla.) has been selected as the Head Coach for the 2018 USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) for what will be his eighth-consecutive season. Selected by members of the USA Softball Women’s National Team Selection Committee (WNTSC), Eriksen will lead the Red, White and Blue at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s World Championship (WWC) August 2-12, 2018 in Chiba, Japan, in addition to other events on the 2018 schedule.
“Once again, it’s an honor to be thought of as someone who has been entrusted with progressing this program to be successful at the 2018 World Championship,” said USA Softball WNT Head Coach, Ken Eriksen. “That is what our focus will be on as we pick the team in January and train in the early part of the summer.”
In 2011, Eriksen took over the Women’s National Team (WNT) Program and ushered in a new era of USA Softball with a roster comprised of international rookies. Eriksen continued the legacy established before him, leading a strong U.S. roster which produced a Gold Medal at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. In his tenure with the USA Softball WNT Program, Eriksen has amassed two WBSC World Championships Silver Medals before reclaiming the Gold at the 2016 WBSC World Championship in Surrey, B.C., Canada. He also boasts four World Cup of Softball titles and a Silver Medal from the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
After hanging up his cleats as a player, his first Head Coach role with the USA Softball National Team Program came in 1997 when he led the USA Softball Junior Men’s National Team (JMNT) at the WBSC Junior Men’s World Championship in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Five years later, he joined the WNT as an assistant coach in 2002 – the same year the team captured a Gold Medal at the WBSC World Championship. A highlight of his Team USA coaching resume includes being an assistant coach in the 2003 Pan Am Games which won Gold and going on to coach at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens where the U.S. Olympic Softball Team would put on one of the most dominant performances in Olympic history. Eriksen tacked on another Gold Medal as an assistant coach at the 2010 WBSC Championship in Caracas, Venezuela.
“We are honored to have Coach Eriksen leading our Women’s National Team for the 2018 WBSC Women’s World Championship,” said USA Softball Executive Director, Craig Cress. “Since taking over the program in 2011, Eriksen has continued the legacy established before him while shaping and developing the program during softball’s absence from the Olympic Games platform. We look forward to watching Coach Eriksen and the Women’s National Team defend the WBSC Women’s World Championship title next summer in Chiba.”
As a player, Eriksen began playing USA Softball when he joined the Clearwater Bombers, playing from 1987-1992 while batting .347 in 1992 and .456 in the Men’s Major Fast Pitch Nationals. Eriksen was a part of the Miller-Toyota team and Tampa Smokers up until 1997 when he won the Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship with his fellow teammates. Eriksen racked up additional honors on the international scene, earning a silver medal at the Pan American Games (1991) and was a three-time Olympic Festival participant (1993, 1994 and 1995), where he took home an additional silver medal at the 1995 Olympic Festival. Eriksen retired shortly after playing for the USA Select Team, which was the first American athletic team to compete in communist Cuba in over 30 years (1958).
Collegiately, Eriksen has been at the helm of the University of South Florida softball program since 1996. Since Eriksen’s first year, the Bulls have gone to 12 NCAA post season appearances, two NCAA Super Regionals, a College World Series berth, five conference titles (in three conferences: C-USA, BIG EAST, and The American), has produced over 850 wins and a numerous amount of All-Americans, Academic All-Americans, All-Conference players, and NCAA All-Region players.
For the latest information on all of the USA Softball National Teams visit www.USASoftball.com.
At the conclusion of the event, NFCA First VIce President Lisa Navas (University of South Carolina) announced the Class of 2018- Salisbury University head coach Margie Knight, North Davidson High School head coach Mike Lambros (posthumously) and University Tennessee co-head coach Karen Weekly. The banquet and induction ceremony will be held, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018 in Chicago.
Gulas, who retired after the 2017 season, enjoyed a 31-year career as a collegiate head coach, the last 21 years as the Eagles’ skipper. Compiling 30 wins in her final season, she surpassed 900 career victories and won nearly 66 percent of her games with a 929-487-1 record. In her final 21 seasons guiding the Eagles, Gulas collected 723 wins. Additionally, she served as Ashland’s Assistant Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator during her final two years at Ashland.
She compiled a winning record in all 21 of her seasons at Ashland, leading the Eagles to 12 NCAA Division II tournaments and collecting five Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) titles and three conference Coach of the Year awards. In 1998, Gulas guided Ashland to a school-record 53 wins and a No. 3 national ranking. The Eagles collected 40 wins five times during her tenure.
Prior to her stint with Ashland, Gulas made stops as the head coach at Wittenberg (1991-96) and Allegheny (1987-90). In her first head coaching position at Allegheny, she posted a 123-38 mark, guiding the Gators to a national runner-up finish in 1988 and fifth in the country in 1987, 1989 and 1990. Gulas was named the NCAA Division III national coach of the year in 1988 and 1989, and was the regional coach of the year from 1987-89.
Haning is our first Travel Ball member to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. He helped build the Batbusters into one of the most well-known and successful travel ball organizations in the nation, with more than 30 national championships. His team rosters have been a who’s who of the top names in softball.
Under Haning’s guidance, four-time All-American and four-time Olympic medalist Laura Berg and her twin sister Randi delivered the Batbusters’ first 18-and-under national title in 1992 on a loaded team that also featured former UCLA standouts Nicole Odom Reis (Reese) and Leah Poulson, former Arizona stars Leah Braatz and Andrea Doty, and Cal-Berkeley star Gillian Boxx. Fellow Olympic star and Women’s College World Series champion Jennie Finch won a 1997 national crown and had a 1998 runner-up finish with the Batbusters, along with teammate Toni Mascarenas.
Nine softball legends forever enshrined into the National Softball Hall of Fame at 37th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Nine individuals received softball’s highest honor on Saturday evening as USA Softball inducted nine members to the National Softball Hall of Fame at the 37th Annual celebration at the Sheraton Greensboro.
A night to remember, the 2017 class consisted of Mike Candrea (Tucson, Ariz.) – Meritorious Service, Jimmy Derrick (Douglasville, Ga.) – Umpire, Gary Evans (Mason, Mich.) – Umpire, Dick Gulmon (Valley City, N.D.) – Meritorious Service, Mark Martin (Fayetteville, Ark.) – Slow Pitch Player, Rick Minton (Cerro Gordo, Ill.) – Fast Pitch Player, Bob Quinn (Branchville, N.J.) – Fast Pitch Player, Willie Simpson (Oak Lawn, Ill.) – Slow Pitch Player and Evans Telegadas (Scottsdale, Ariz.) – Fast Pitch Player.
Read more about the 2017 National Softball Hall of Fame Class:
Mike Candrea (Tucson, Ariz.) – Meritorious Service
Mike Candrea is synonymous with softball success. His resume with the USA Softball Women’s National Team spanned over a decade, starting first as an assistant coach in 1994 on the Women’s World Championship team that captured the Gold Medal in Canada. Beginning in 2002, Candrea took over the helm of the Women’s National Team, during which time the U.S. captured two World Championship Gold Medals, two Pan-American Gold Medals, two World Cup titles, one Olympic Gold Medal and one Olympic Silver Medal. With a passion for making world-class athletes and individuals, Candrea was a driving force behind some of the most dominating performances in international softball. “I don’t just want to win, I want to dominate,” is a phrase Coach Candrea echoed during the journey to the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. Making his words a reality, Team USA recorded one of the most dominant Olympic performances in history, outscoring opponents 51-1. After retiring from his Head Coach duties following the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Candrea continued his involvement with USA Softball as the Director of Coaching Education, where he took on a series of educational roles to continue the development of the sport both domestically and internationally.
Jimmy Derrick (Douglasville, Ga.) – Umpire
With an infectious enthusiasm, professional pride, and love for the game of softball, Jimmy Derrick’s resume speaks for itself. Regarded by his peers as one of the top slow pitch umpires in the game, Derrick has worked some of the highest levels of men’s slow pitch softball. Whether at the Slow Pitch Championship Series or the international Border Battle, Jimmy has proven to be the consummate professional both on and off the field. Boasting a resume of 19 National Championship appearances, he continues to share his love for the game through his contributions to the USA Softball Umpire program as a member of the National Umpire Staff. Serving as the Region 3 Umpire-in-Chief, Derrick is a skilled instructor through National and Local Umpire Schools and Clinics. A dynamic instructor, he is a leader in the interactive learning process for the umpire program. With a belief that “you must give respect to earn respect,” Derrick’s approach to the game truly encompasses what being a USA Softball Umpire is all about.
Gary Evans (Mason, Mich.) – Umpire
Having been involved with USA Softball for almost 50 years, Gary is considered one of the top umpires within USA Softball of Michigan. A firm believer in taking advantage of the valuable training USA Softball offers to its umpires, Evans applied the lessons learned and always gave 100% on the ballfield. His dedication to his craft led him to a path of national excellence, as he got the call at eight National Championships and served as an Umpire-in-Chief or Assistant Umpire-in-Chief in five National Championships. A true mentor for his fellow umpires, Evans took on the role of Michigan UIC, a position he held for 15 years, where he helped lead countless District and State clinics and National Umpire Schools. His insight, knowledge and love for the game will have an everlasting impact on the Michigan umpire community.
Dick Gulmon (Valley City, N.D.) – Meritorious Service
At a time when the sport of softball was at a crossroads with new equipment technology, Dick Gulmon played an integral role in the Certified Equipment standards of USA Softball. Having been involved in the game at a variety of levels, Gulmon personifies leadership through his contributions to the sport. In addition to his playing and management of teams during his career, Gulmon has also served in a variety of leadership capacities. Serving on the North Dakota Board of Directors and Classification Committee since 1989, Gulmon was appointed President of USA Softball of North Dakota in 1996 and became Commissioner in 2013. At the National level, Gulmon has served on the USA Softball Board of Directors and has served on the Council for over 20 years. Gulmon has also served on various USA Softball Committees. His most noteworthy position is his role as Chairman of the Equipment Testing & Certification Committee, a role he has held since 2005. In this role, Gulmon spearheads the efforts in the development of state-of-the-art bat and ball testing protocol which help level the playing field. A great ambassador for USA Softball, Gulmon is and has been a leader of change throughout the sport of softball.
Mark Martin (Fayetteville, Ark.) – Slow Pitch Player
When you talk about champion slow pitch players in the game of softball, Mark Martin is one of the names that comes to mind. With a playing career that spanned over 20 years, Mark was an unselfish teammate who inspired his teammates both on and off the field. A seven-time All-American, Martin was a member of four National Championship teams as a member of Bell Corp. In 1989, Martin was selected to play in the Olympic Festival at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium and led the East Team with a .743 batting average. Known for hitting some of the longest home runs ever witnessed in the game, Martin had a 535 ft. home run recorded in 2009 in Las Vegas while playing in the 50-Over division for Hollis Appraisals at a Senior National Championship. His dominance in the game helped earn him the title of “Outstanding Softball Player” by the Orlando Amateur Athletic Association three times and he is also a member of the Orlando Hall of Honor. Martin also contributed to the game through his role on the Wilson Sporting Goods Advisory staff from 1990-97.
Rick Minton (Cerro Gordo, Ill.) – Fast Pitch Player
With a career at the major level that spanned 15 years, Rick Minton was a sparkplug and vocal leader of the legendary Decatur Pride. A six-time All-American, Minton collected two Men’s Major National Championships, his first in 1994 and his second in 1995, as a member of the Pride and also earned two Men’s 40-Over National Championships in 1999 and 2000. With his quick glove, great anticipation and accurate arm, Minton was a renowned defensive magician at second base with play so steady that it earned him a spot on four Men’s National Team rosters. Twice Minton earned a Pan American Games Silver Medal, 1987 and 1991, and in 1988 he was a member of the last Gold Medal winning United States team at the World Championship. He also was named to three U.S. Sports Festival teams, earning a Silver Medal finish at each appearance.
Bob Quinn (Branchville, N.J.) – Fast Pitch Player
Best known for his rock solid defense, clutch plays and aggressive base running, Robert “Bob” Quinn was one of the most fundamentally sound players on the field. A key player on the legendary Raybestos Cardinals, and later Franklin Cardinals, Quinn earned four National Championship titles during his 15-year career. Regarded as one of the best middle infielders in the game, he also made a name for himself as an offensive igniter. A two-time All-American, Quinn received softball’s highest honor in 1979 when he was chosen as a member of the Men’s Fast Pitch National Team, which would go on to win the Silver Medal at the Pan American Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He would follow with a Bronze Medal at the 1984 World Championship in Midland, Mich. In addition to his Team USA and All-American accolades, Quinn was also selected to four All-Star Series during his playing career. His teammates would say his greatest attribute was that when the game was on the line and you needed a big play, Quinn was your guy.
Willie Simpson (Oak Lawn, Ill.) – Slow Pitch Player
Regarded as the greatest clutch hitter and toughest competitor in 16-Inch softball, Willie “Steamer” Simpson was one of the last guys you wanted to face when the game was on the line. Always clutch at the plate, Simpson is a six-time All-American, 10-time National Champion and two-time MVP of the Men’s 16-Inch National Championship. Spending most of his career with the Bobcats out of Chicago, Simpson helped his team come out of the loser’s bracket in the 1979 National Championship, including seven-straight wins on Championship Sunday. Finishing his playing career after the 1988 season, Simpson’s loyalty to team play was reflective in his tenure with the Bobcats. When asked what his strong points were, Simpson quickly replied it was his team mentality, noting: “I got a lot of clutch hits, but you know somebody has to put you in that situation. There were always guys who were on base ahead of me. It takes 10 or 11 guys to play a softball game.”
Evans Telegadas (Scottsdale, Ariz.) – Fast Pitch Player
Playing on multiple teams in National Championship Play, Evans Telegadas earned six All-American honors throughout his career. An outstanding shortstop, he played in nine Men’s Major National Championships and was known to make big plays when the stakes were high. Winning the 1979 Men’s Major National Championship as a member of McArdle Pontiac-Cadillac, Telegadas and his teammates earned the opportunity to represent the United States at the WBSC World Championship in Tacoma, Wash. Telegadas earned a Gold Medal with his fellow teammates through his competitive nature and all-around talent. Holding a .336 lifetime batting average, Telegadas understood the need to put aside personal goals for the accomplishments of the team, a quality that in addition to his career accolades has certainly earned a Hall of Fame honor.
In addition to honoring eight individuals with their induction into the National Softball Hall of Fame, the Class of 2018 was also announced following the conclusion of the Hall of Fame Committee meeting earlier in the day. The Class of 2018 inductees include: Dick Brubaker (Fast Pitch Player), Crystl Bustos (Fast Pitch Player), John Daniels (Sponsor), Ricky Huggins (Slow Pitch Player), Todd Joerling (Slow Pitch Player), Bill Silves (Umpire), Christa Williams (Fast Pitch Player), Charles Wright (Slow Pitch Player).
The 38th induction ceremony will take place at the 87th Annual USA Softball Council Meeting, which will be held in Oklahoma City, Okla. Rules and guidelines to nominate potential Hall of Fame candidates for 2019 are available at USASoftball.com. There is a deadline submission of September 1, 2018.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 70 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million. USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch. USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships. The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game.
As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.