DECEMBER 2 2011 UPDATE
NFCA HONORS ITHACA’S PALLOZZI
ITHACA, N.Y. – Ithaca softball coach Deb Pallozzi has been voted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Hall of Fame. Pallozzi will be one of just two members of the 2011 induction class, who will join the Hall of Fame at the 2011 NFCA Convention in Las Vegas. Pallozzi will be one of just 55 members of the NFCA Hall of Fame, which inducted its first class in 1991 and just the seventh Division III coach in the Hall of Fame. Upon induction, she’ll be one of 21 active college coaches who have already received the NFCA’s highest honor. Ralph Weekly of Tennessee is the other honoree.
Her induction will be the third for a current Ithaca head coach in the past five years. Baseball coach George Valesente was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association in 2005 and men’s lacrosse coach Jeff Long was inducted into the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2009.
Since taking over as the Bombers’ head coach in 1989, Pallozzi has won 624 games in 22 seasons, leading Ithaca to 18 NCAA playoff appearances, including the 2002 national championship. The Bombers have made eight other trips to the world series, placing fourth in 2005 and 2008. Pallozzi’s teams have won or shared the Empire 8 regular-season title all nine years the sport has been sponsored by the conference and won the conference tournament five of the seven times it’s been held. She’s been named Empire 8 Coach of the Year four times.
While posting a record of 624-299-1 in 22 years at Ithaca (her overall record, which includes two years at Rensselaer, is 629-320-1), Pallozzi has coached 14 all-Americans and eight academic all-Americans. The Bombers ranked 10th nationally last year with a 3.447 grade-point average; they ranked eighth in 2009, marking the first time the Bombers have finished in the nation’s top 10 in consecutive seasons.
A 1979 graduate of Cortland where she played four years of softball, Pallozzi was inducted into her alma mater’s hall of fame in 2004. She was an assistant volleyball coach at Ithaca from 1988 to 1994, helping the Bombers reach the final four her final season.
Pallozzi was honored two other times at the convention; she was recognized for collecting her 600th career win ( a 2-1 walk-off win over Bowdoin) and she and her staff were named NFCA East Region Coaching Staff of the Year after leading the Bombers to a 34-15 record, the Empire 8 regular-season and championship tournament titles, and a trip to the Division III world series.
USA Softball begins practice at ISF Junior Women’s Worlds in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN, South Africa — The 2011 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team arrived Thursday in Cape Town, South Africa, for the IX International Softball Federation (ISF) Junior Women’s World Championship (19-Under) and held its first practice Friday. The United States, seeded No. 1 in the tournament, opens pool play on Dec. 8 against Canada and is aiming for the Dec. 17 Gold Medal Game.
“I am so excited for this competition,” said catcher Chelsea Goodacre (Temecula, Calif./Arizona freshman). “The Junior Women’s World Championships will be our legacy, the thing that everyone will remember most. I know I am speaking for every member on our team when I say we are ready to bring home the Gold Medal.”
Following the contest with Canada, the United States is scheduled to play six other Pool A opponents: China on Dec. 9; New Zealand on Dec. 10; South Africa on Dec. 11; Botswana on Dec. 12; Czech Republic on Dec. 13; and Puerto Rico on Dec. 14. Playoffs are Dec. 15-16 with the medal games scheduled for Dec. 17. Team USA defeated Canada, Botswana and Puerto Rico among others at the last Junior Women’s World Championship in 2007.
“I was nervous but excited for the trip to South Africa,” said pitcher Dallas Escobedo (Glendale, Ariz./Arizona State sophomore). “Nervous because of the travel time to get here, excited because I get to see my USA girls again and play for the Junior Women’s World Championship with them. We had a good first practice today and we’re ready for the challenge of defending Team USA’s title.”
Team USA enters the competition as the reigning Junior Women’s World Champions, having gone 10-0 at the 2007 tournament in Enschede, The Netherlands. In the Championship Game, the U.S. topped Japan 3-1. Team USA has played in each of the six previous Championship Games held, defeating China for the inaugural title in 1987, losing to Japan in 1991, defeating Japan in 1995 and losing to Japan in 1999 and 2003 before reclaiming the top spot from Japan in 2007.
Japan plays in Pool B with Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chinese Taipei, Germany, Russia and Zimbabwe. The Aussies won the Bronze Medal at the 2007, 2003 and 1995 ISF Junior Women’s Worlds.
The U.S. qualified for the Junior Women’s World Championship in August 2010 by winning the III Pan American Championships (18-Under) in Bogota, Colombia, with a 9-0 record that included two wins against Canada and another against Puerto Rico. In the Championship Game, Team USA defeated Canada 3-1. The two teams also met in pool play during that event with the U.S. claiming a 3-0 victory. In the semi-final, the Americans defeated Puerto Rico 6-1.
Since competing in Bogota, the USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team played in a summer exhibition series against the 2011 USA Softball Women’s National Team in Tampa, Salem, Va., and Bowie, Md. The team rejoined in Cape Town for the first time since early July.
“Since the USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team took shape in June 2010, the ultimate goal has been leaving the 2011 International Softball Federation Junior Women’s World Championship with a Gold Medal,” Head Coach Karen Johns (Whippany, N.J.) said. “I am excited for these young women to have the opportunity to compete for the Junior Women’s World title after months and months of looking forward to the tournament. With the 17 athletes we have on our roster, I am confident that the goal of being Junior Women’s World Champions can be achieved. The United States will be very well represented in Cape Town.”
The members of the USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team hail from seven states and 11 universities. Team members are Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif./UCLA freshman), Lauren Chamberlain (Trabuco Canyon, Calif./Oklahoma freshman), Cheyenne Cordes (Fairfield, Calif./California freshman), Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif./Florida sophomore), Jessica Damico (Gray Summit, Mo./Florida freshman), Escobedo, Amber Freeman (Lakewood, Calif./Arizona State freshman), Erin Gabriel (Poland, Ohio/Poland Seminary High School senior), Goodacre, Lauren Haeger (Phoenix, Ariz./Florida freshman), Kylee Lahners (Laguna Hills, Calif./Washington freshman), Destinee Martinez (Corona, Calif./Oklahoma sophomore), Kourtney Salvarola (Arnold, Md./South Florida sophomore), Cheyanne Tarango (Anaheim Hills, Calif./Tennessee freshman), Nyree White (Eugene, Ore./Stanford freshman), Hallie Wilson (North Tustin, Calif./Arizona freshman) and Chelsea Zgrabik (Nokomis, Fla./Florida Gulf Coast sophomore).
Coyle was named to the roster in late July by the USA Softball Women’s National Team Selection Committee (WNTSC) after Shelby Pendley (Albuquerque, N.M./Arizona freshman) withdrew from the team due to injury. Madison Shipman (Valencia, Calif./Tennessee sophomore) also withdrew from the team due to injury in September and was replaced by Damico.
The Junior Women’s National Team is coached by Johns with assistants Suzy Brazney (Huntington Beach, Calif./head coach Golden West College) and Tony Rico (Huntington Beach, Calif./coach Worth Firecrackers). Joe Salvatore (Monroe Township, N.J./coach New Jersey Breakers) serves as the volunteer assistant coach. Michael White (Eugene, Ore./head coach Oregon) is the batting practice pitcher.
ASA Answers Spy’s Questions about Junior World Recruiting
Yesterday, Spy published the ASA release on Softball Factory, but raised three questions. ASA answered:
Can players be considered for the Junior team if they do not choose to participate in this program, YES all players are always considered. Softball Factory is just another way the committee will have information and names from athletes across the country to consider invites for a selection camp that is TBD once we know the schedule from the ISF. It is a very good tool for the committee to have access to. which adds another element to an already time-challenged summer? Will the selection committee continue to hold tryouts, Yes we will continue to hold tryouts provided the funding is available ala Chula Vista? Not least, who pays for players participation? This is an individual option and the player/family purchases as SB Factory offers several programs to assist players, same model as their Baseball Factory.