Category Archives: 18U Gold

6-28-2017 Haning Will Enter NFCA Hall

For heath reasons, I could not attend the 2016 annual meeting of the National Fastpitch Association’s decision so I missed the announcement that long time Batbuster coach and PGF co=founder Gary Haning will at last be enshrined in the NFCA Hall of Fame.

The Association announced its four-person 2017 induction class of Ashland University head coach Sheilah Gulas, retired University of Connecticut head coach Karen Mullins, Batbusters coach Gary Haning and Carson-Newman head coach Vickee Kazee-Hollifield. The quartet will be enshrined at next year’s NFCA Convention on Dec. 6-9 in Las Vegas.

I hope many of the West Coast travel ball people will attend the banquet, not just to honor Gary but to visit with so many of the nation’s college coaches.  Always enjoyed the banquet.  Gary’s teams produced many of the stars of college ball over three decades, while winning ASA and PGF national championships.  As much as anyone in that Hall of Fame, Gary deserves the honor.

Maybe he will tuck his shirt in, just this once.







5-31-2017 Athletes named to team opposing USA national team

Sixteen athletes named to So Cal All-Star roster that will take on Women’s National Team and Mexico in Irvine, Calif.


OKLAHOMA CITY — Sixteen athletes have been selected to represent the So Cal All-Star roster, which is set to compete against the 2017 USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) and Mexico in June 13 doubleheader exhibition games.  Held at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine, Calif., the So Cal All-Star roster is made up of athletes from three elite youth travel programs: Firecrackers – Rico, Corona Angels – Tyson and OC Batbusters – Stith.  Fans will have the opportunity to watch Team USA, Mexico and the So Cal All-Stars June 13, while the U.S. and Mexico will be playing in a standalone exhibition game on June 15. 

“Getting this opportunity to work with USA Softball, Tony Rico, Marty Tyson and along with these great kids that have put so much time into their careers is special,” said Mike Stith, who will be leading the So Cal All-Stars.  “For me as a coach to get to be a small part of the development of our National Team Program is an incredible honor as we begin the process to prepare for Japan and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Getting to coach against some of the greatest talent in the world is quite an opportunity as much as it is a tough challenge against Team USA and Mexico but it will be a great night that I’m truly looking forward to.”


Click here to see the roster for the So Cal All-Stars


In addition to the three exhibition games, members of the USA Softball WNT and coaching staff will also conduct a players camp on June 14 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. PT.  Led by Team USA Head Coach Ken Eriksen, attendees will have the opportunity to get hands on training and instruction from the best softball players in the world.  Limited space is available, with the camp open to players age 8-18.  Tickets for the exhibition games and players camp, along with a detailed schedule of events, are now available for purchase through


Fans at home can follow along all summer long with the USA Softball National Teams at

4-25-2017 Florida Dominates Softball Poll

College softball rankings: Florida strengthens hold on No. 1 in latest USA Today/ NFCA Coaches poll

Last Updated – Apr 25, 2017 10:52 EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Following another dominant week, Florida strengthened its hold the No. 1 ranking in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll. The Gators (44-3) collected 30 first-place votes and 798 of a possible 800 points.

USA Today/ NFCA Coaches poll

Florida put together a 4-0 week, which saw its NCAA-best pitching staff allow one run over the course of 26 innings. After a 9-1 mid-week win over in-state foe UCF, the Gators’ pitching staff surrendered just seven hits as they shutout then-No. 18 Ole Miss in a Southeastern Conference sweep by the scores of 2-0, 3-0 and 5-0. With three more shutouts, UF has posted 28 on the season, including 14 over Top 25 competition, and lowered its NCAA-best ERA to 0.70.

Florida State also picked up four wins last week and remained at No. 2 with 754 points. The Seminoles (43-3-1) swept a mid-week twinbill at Troy (9-3, 2-0) and opened their road ACC series at Louisville with two triumphs over the Cardinals (11-0, 4-3 in 10 inn.).

Arizona, which earned a first-place vote, also stayed put, holding on to the No. 3 ranking following a 4-1 week. The Wildcats (45-4) took care of business in a mid-week doubleheader at New Mexico State (8-0, 11-1) and claimed the first two games in home a Pac-12 matchup versus No. 6 Oregon (2-0, 10-7) before dropping the finale, 4-3.

Minnesota and Texas A&M switched positions as the Gophers (43-3) took over the No. 4 ranking, their highest in program history. Minnesota, who picked up the final first-place vote, won five Big Ten contests, topping RV Wisconsin (6-0 in 12 inn., 12-1) on the road and taking all three at home from Iowa (5-0, 9-1, 3-0). The Aggies (40-5) slipped up in mid-week action, coming up short in a comeback bid against then-No. 17 Louisiana (9-11) before sweeping No. 22 Georgia (10-3, 1-0, 2-0) in SEC action.

Oregon did not move from No. 6 after dropping a Pac-12 series at No. 3 Arizona. No. 7 Oklahoma and No. 8 Washington each moved up one position. The Sooners (41-8) enjoyed a 3-1 week, which included a crucial Big 12 series win over No. 15 Baylor. OU grabbed a 3-2 10-inning triumph in game one and clinched the series with a 6-0 shutout in the finale. The Bears (36-9) 4-3 victory in game two snapped the Sooners’ 17-game winning streak as well as their 25 consecutive victories in conference play and 33-game home winning streak.

Washington had a successful cross-country trip to the Heart of Dixie, defeating UAB (8-0) and trumping No. 13 Alabama (3-2, 3-0) in a two-game series at Rhoads Stadium. It was the Huskies (34-10) first sweep of the Tide since a 2007 Super Regional matchup.

Auburn slipped to No. 9 after a 3-1 week, while Utah remained at No. 10. The Tigers (39-8) knocked off Kennesaw State at home and claimed a SEC series win on the road, taking the first two games from RV South Carolina (2-0, 2-0). In a closely-contested Pac-12 series, the Utes (30-9) rebounded from a 9-8 loss in the opener to claim the series with 7-6 and 2-1 victories at No. 23 Arizona State.

Making its first appearance of 2017 is Marshall at No. 25, replacing Illinois, who appeared for the first time last week.

The 2017 USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference.  Records reflect games played through April 23.

Last Updated – April 25, 2017
1 Florida (30) 798 44-3 1
2 Florida State 754 43-3-1 2
3 Arizona (1) 741 45-4 3
4 Minnesota (1) 694 43-3 5
5 Texas A&M 685 40-5 4
6 Oregon 623 38-6 6
7 Oklahoma 584 41-8 8
8 Washington 572 34-10 9
9 Auburn 542 39-8 7
10 Utah 510 30-9 10
11 Tennessee 498 41-6 11
12 UCLA 437 33-12 13
13 Alabama 409 37-11 12
14 James Madison 382 39-6 14
15 Baylor 356 36-9 15
16 Louisiana 327 36-6 17
17 LSU 286 34-14 16
18 Kentucky 238 30-13 20
19 Michigan 223 34-10-1 19
20 Ole Miss 191 31-16 18
21 BYU 175 32-10 21
22 Georgia 99 30-18 22
23 Arizona State 83 27-14 23
24 Arkansas 46 28-17 24
25 Marshall 38 35-7 RV

Receiving votes: Illinois (31), Tulsa (21), Mississippi State (13), South Carolina (11), Texas State (8), Missouri (6), North Carolina (5), Florida International (5), California (4), Saint Francis (Pa.) (4), Ohio State (1).


4-17-2017 Junior Olympics


Thu, Apr 13, 2017 4:42 pm
2017 USA Softball Junior Olympic Cup heads west to California as 64 teams representing 16U and 18U divisions tapped to compete
From Katie Willis kwillis@usasoftball.comhide details
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April 13, 2017


2017 USA Softball Junior Olympic Cup heads west to California as 64 teams representing 16U and 18U divisions tapped to compete


OKLAHOMA CITY  – USA Softball is excited to announce the full lineup of competing teams for the 2017 USA Softball Junior Olympic (JO) Cup.  Set to take place in Southern California from July 23-29, a total of 64 teams representing the 16-Under and 18-Under divisions of USA Softball will travel to the West Coast to compete. Each age group will be represented by 32 of the top teams in their respective divisions of play, with teams battling for the coveted title of USA Softball JO Cup champions.


“The EC Bullets 18U Gold team always looks forward to the national competition provided at the USA Softball JO Cup each summer,” said East Cobb Bullets 18U Gold Team Manager, Greg Schnute. “We were fortunate to have won the 2016 championship after finishing second in the inaugural event in 2015. The opportunity for our young ladies to play against the best teams in the country, and to do so in front of the USA coaching staff is a thrill for all of us! We look forward again to the competition this summer in California!”


Click here to view the 2017 USA Softball Junior Olympic preview, including a list of teams participating and additional tournament information


For the 2017 tournament schedule, the 18-under division will be played at the Big League Dreams facility in Perris, Calif., while the 16-under division will split their time with pool play at the Lake Elsinore Softball Complex and bracket play at the Big League Dreams facility. Kicking off the tournament will be a coaches meeting, including check-in and bat testing, on July 23. Pool play is set to take place July 24-25, before teams move onto bracket play July 26-29. New this year, each age group will have two 16-team double elimination brackets, where the winners will play a one game championship game for the title of JO Cup Champions.  FloSoftball will once again serve as the source for live-streaming for the USA Softball JO Cup, and viewing and live stat links will be available on


In 2016, the Atlanta Vipers captured the inaugural 16-under championship with a 7-0 win over Victory USA, while a late-inning rally helped the East Cobb Bullets – Schnute nab a 6-2 win over the Gold Coast Hurricanes for the 18-under title. Links for live stats and streaming for the 2016 USA Softball JO Cup can be found on the event page at


The USA Softball JO Cup serves as a National Team identification opportunity for athletes wishing to compete in front of members of the Women’s National Team Selection Committee (WNTSC).


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,


1-6-2017 Junior Women’s National Team


Twenty-four athletes selected to training team for 2017 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team


CLEARWATER, Fla. — Following a two-day selection process, 24 athletes have been selected to continue their training for a spot on the 2017 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team (JWNT), USA Softball announced today. Selected by members of the Women’s National Team Selection Committee (WNTSC), these athletes will compete in a training camp and exhibition games in Oklahoma City and at the World Cup of Softball XII.  Following the conclusion of the World Cup of Softball XII, the final 17-player roster for the 2017 USA Softball JWNT will be determined.  That roster will be competing at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Junior Women’s World Championship, which will be held July 24-30 in Clearwater, Fla.

“I’m looking forward to seeing this team and how they develop,” said Head Coach Laura Berg (Corvallis, Ore./Head Coach at Oregon State).  “It’s going to be a fun and long process, but I am expecting great things to come out of this group.  We’re here to defend a Gold Medal, and anything less than that is not good enough.”

Click here to see the athletes selected to the 2017 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team

In all, ten athletes will be competing with their NCAA Division I universities while 14 athletes will still be a part of their respective high schools prior to the 2017 season.  Of those selected to the training team are five athletes who participated at the USA Softball Junior Women’s Open Tryout held on December 30.

Led by Head Coach Laura Berg (Corvallis, Ore./Head Coach at Oregon State), Assistant Coaches for the 2017 USA Softball JWNT are Trisha Ford (Fremont, Calif./Head Coach at Arizona State), Kristie Fox (San Diego, Calif./Head Coach at UT- Arlington), and John Rittman (Valencia, Calif./Associate Head Coach at Kansas).

2017 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Training Team


Hannah Adams
Roopville, Ga.
Alexis Allan

Hesperia, Calif.


Holly Azevedo
San Jose, Calif.
Nicole Bates
Ceres, Calif.
Elissa Brown
Eclectic, Ala.
Julia Cottrill
Stillwater, Okla.
Alissa Dalton
Okmulgee, Okla.
Gabi Deters
Bowling Green, Mo.
Amanda Doyle
Canyon Country, Calif.
Jessica Harper
Valencia, Calif.
Mary Iakopo
Carson, Calif.
Giselle Juarez
Glendale, Ariz.
Bethaney Keen
Brandenton, Fla.
Alexis Kilfoyl
Land O’Lakes, Fla.
Baylee Klingler
Alvin, Texas
Natalie Lugo
West Covina, Calif.
Dejah Mulipola
Garden Grove, Calif.
Maddy Nickles
Merced, Calif.
Briana Perez
Martinez, Calif.
Alyssa Rivera
Eagle Lake, Fla.
Kathryn Sandercock
McLean, Va.
Sydney Sherrill
Moore, Okla.
Taylon Snow
Chino Hills, Calif.
Kaylee Tow
Madisonville, Ky.




 Date Event Location Tickets   Media
June 2017 Training Camp Oklahoma City, Okla. N/A Click here for a credential request
July 4-9, 2017 World Cup of Softball XII Oklahoma City, Okla. N/A Click here for a credential request
July 24-30, 2017 WBSC World Championship Clearwater, Fla. TBD Click here for a credential request

*Additional events may be added. Schedule is subject to change*



The 2017 USA Softball JWNT will look to defend the Gold after a record-breaking performance at the 2015 WBSC Junior Women’s World Championship in Oklahoma City, Okla.  In Oklahoma City, the JWNT went undefeated, finishing the tournament as the leaders in batting average (.425 team batting average) and runs scored (119) while limiting opponents to just six runs in a 10-0 performance.


For more information on the USA Softball JWNT, visit