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.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Despite outhitting their opponents in the Championship finale at the World Cup of Softball XII, the USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) dropped a 2-1 decision to Japan to finish as runner-up. USA’s Aubree Munro (Brea, Calif.) recorded Team USA’s lone RBI of the game after singling in the bottom of the fourth to plate Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.). Also seeing action on Championship Sunday at the World Cup of Softball was the USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team (JWNT), who shutout Puerto Rico in a 7-0 (five innings) run rule to finish in fifth place as the team preps for the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Junior Women’s World Championship.
“I’m happy with where we’re at right now,” said Head Coach Ken Eriksen. “We’ve got some players who now have five or six years of experience under their belt. Our approaches at the plate are pretty darn good, it was just one of those days where their bloop fell in today and ours didn’t. The way we’re playing defensively and offensively is pretty flawless.”
USA 1, Japan 2
It was a typical high-level, competitive match between the top two ranked teams in the world in the World Cup of Softball XII Championship Game, and despite outhitting Japan, the USA Softball WNT finished as runner-up after a 2-1 loss. The Eagles looked to create a seventh-inning rally, but ultimately fell one run short, finishing the annual event with a 7-1 record.
Japan struck first in the top of the third inning to take a 2-0 lead. Eri Yamada led off with a single but USA’s Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) got Yamada out at second on a groundball from Mana Atsumi. A single to Michelle Moultrie in right field advanced Atsumi to third to put runners on the corners before a walk to Yu Yamamoto loaded the bases. With just one out, Minami Sato singled to centerfield to push across two Japan runs.
The U.S. struck back in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to just one run. A leadoff walk to Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) followed by a single to right field by Moultrie put two on quickly. A groundout put runners on the corners for Team USA to bring Munro to the plate, who on a 1-1 pitch drove a ball up the middle to bring Arioto home and make it a 2-1 ballgame. Janie Takeda (Placentia, Calif.) followed with another single to prompt a pitching change for Japan as Yukiko Ueno entered for Yamato Fugita. Ueno was able to retire the next two batters to prevent the U.S. from adding further damage.
Both sides would be kept silent through the next few innings of play to bring Team USA back to the plate for their final at-bat trailing by one. Ueno was able to get two quick outs, but the U.S. proved to be resilient as Stewart doubled on a hard hit ball to the left center gap. With a runner in scoring position, Team USA looked to keep the game going, but a strikeout ended the game with the U.S. falling to Japan 2-1.
Up next for the USA Softball WNT is a doubleheader exhibition tour stop in Sacramento, Calif. July 12-13. The team will take a brief break before heading to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for the Pan American Games/World Championship Qualifier August 4-13. The team will conclude their 2017 season in Takasaki City, Japan for the 2017 Japan Cup August 25-27.
USA JWNT 7, Puerto Rico 0 (five innings)
Just three days after dropping an opening-game 3-1 decision to Puerto Rico, the USA Softball JWNT found their rhythm as the team walked away with the 7-0 (five innings) shutout victory. The JWNT pushed across two runs in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back as Holly Azevedo (San Jose, Calif.) gave up just three hits in a strong performance in the circle for the Red, White and Blue.
Azevedo retired her first three batters faced with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout. Hannah Adams then led off the U.S. at-bat with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a grounder from Sis Bates (Ceres, Calif.). Bubba Nickles (Merced, Calif.) demonstrated her veteran experience in the bottom of the first inning for the JWNT as she blasted a home run over the centerfield fence to give the U.S. the early 2-0 edge.
Another one, two, three inning for Azevedo brought the potent U.S. lineup back to the plate, and the team delivered with another five runs. Dejah Mulipola (Garden Grove, Calif.) got the offense rolling with a leadoff single but was thrown out advancing to second on a groundball from Alyssa Rivera (Eagle Lake, Fla.) Rivera would then move to second on a single from Elissa Brown (Eclectic, Ala.) and both moved up a base on an error by the Puerto Rico defense. With the bases loaded, Bates singled on a hard hit ground ball back up the middle to plate two. Nickles came up big again in her next at-bat, doubling on a line drive to left field to bring Adams and Bates home and make it 6-0, USA. The final run of the inning would come after Lou Allan (Hesperia, Calif.) brought Nickles home on a ground ball to left field.
Puerto Rico would manage to get three base runners on through the remaining three innings of play, but were unable to figure out Azevedo in the circle as the JWNT claimed the run-rule victory to finish the World Cup of Softball XII with a 4-4 record.
Azevedo earned the win for the JWNT, going the full five innings with four strikeouts and three hits allowed. At the plate, Nickles drove in four of the U.S. runs while Bates picked up two RBI and Allan collected one RBI.
“The team is starting to get used to each other and starting to know each other’s abilities,“ said Head Coach Laura Berg. “Today it showed. They were flawless on defense. I’m so proud of this team. They played against teams who have ten-plus years of international experience and they did not back down. They went toe-to-toe with them and they’re just going to continue to get better.”
Up next, the USA Softball JWNT will now set its sights on the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Junior Women’s World Championship in Clearwater, Fla. July 24-30. After that, they will regroup in Cincinnati, Ohio where they will compete at the Major League Baseball (MLB) RBI World Series.
Canada 3, Australia 0
Canada shutout Australia 3-0 in the Bronze Medal Game at the World Cup of Softball, capitalizing on a three-run first inning. Two Canadian pitchers combined for the win as Karissa Hovinga pitched the first six and one-third innings with six strikeouts and five hits allowed. Sara Plourde earned the save after entering in the bottom of the seventh to keep the Australian offense from rallying.
Philippines 8, Mexico 7 (eight innings)
The Philippines earned a walk-off, extra-inning thriller over Mexico after trailing through the first six innings of play. Down 6-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Philippines drove in four runs to push the game into extra innings. Mexico would score the international tie-break runner to take a one-run lead in the top of the eight, but a single from Francesca Altomonte in the bottom of the eighth drove in two runs to give Philippines the 8-7 win.
OKLAHOMA CITY – The field has been set for Championship Sunday at the World Cup of Softball XII in Oklahoma City after the final day of round-robin action came to a conclusion. The USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) claimed two victories on the day to earn the No. 1 overall seed while the USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team laid stake on the No. 5 seed after suffering a 5-0 loss to No. 2 seed Japan.
“This team is pretty focused on the task at hand,” said Head Coach Ken Eriksen. “We’re getting two strike or two out hits which shows we aren’t giving up. It’s like the team is putting their foot in the door and not letting anyone close it until they say it’s going to close.”
Championship Sunday Schedule
12 p.m. CT – USA vs Japan – OGE Energy Field – ESPN
12 p.m. CT – Philippines vs Mexico – INTEGRIS Field
2:30 p.m. CT – Canada vs Australia – OGE Energy Field
2:30 p.m. CT – USA JWNT vs Puerto Rico – INTEGRIS Field
USA 8, Puerto Rico 2
It was a perfect day at the plate for Team USA’s Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) as the speedy lefty drove in four runs in a 4-for-4 outing in the batter’s box. Despite the U.S. bats getting off to a slow start, the team exploded for five runs in the bottom of the sixth in what would become an 8-2 win over Puerto Rico in the 10th Annual PINK Game. Three U.S. pitchers combined for the win while McCleney, Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) and Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) drove in all of the runs for the Red, White and Blue.
Puerto Rico jumped to an early 1-0 lead over the U.S. in the top of the first. A one out single put Elicia D’Orazio on base and she reached second after beating the throw when Karla Claudio grounded into a fielder’s choice. After stealing third, D’Orazio crossed home after a single to center field by Morganne Flores. This prompted a pitching change for the U.S. as Kelly Barnhill (Marietta, Ga.) entered in relief for starter Delanie Gourley (Lakeside, Calif.). After a groundout to first baseman Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif.) and a pick off by Aubree Munro (Brea, Calif.), the U.S. looked to strike back.
Despite the U.S. loading the bases after McCleney walked, Hannah Flippen (Bonita, Calif.) was hit by pitch and Ali Aguilar walked, the Red, White and Blue were unable to score after a pair of strikeouts and a caught line drive. Barnhill retired Puerto Rico in order in the top of the second to bring the U.S. back to the plate. Team USA took the lead in the bottom of the second after Kasey Cooper (Dothan, Ala.) was issued a leadoff walk and was able to score on a misplayed ball at the plate after Morgan Zerkle (Milton, W.Va.) doubled. McCleney then singled on a line drive to left field to bring Zerkle home and give the U.S. the 2-1 edge.
Both sides were kept from scoring until the top of the fourth when Puerto Rico tied up the game with a leadoff solo home run from Claudio. The score stood pat until the bottom of the fifth when another RBI single from McCleney brought Delaney Spaulding (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) home after she had reached on a single and moved into scoring position on a walk to Zerkle making it a 3-2 U.S. lead.
The floodgates would open in the bottom of the sixth as the U.S. bats came alive. Singles from Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.), Janie Takeda (Placentia, Calif.) and Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) loaded the bases for Arioto, who hit a sac fly to right field. Spaulding was then hit by a pitch to load the bases again and Stewart drove a ball to left field to bring the speedy Takeda and Moultrie home for the fifth and sixth runs of the game for Team USA. Another McCleney RBI single drove in another two runs to give the U.S. the 8-2 edge.
Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif.), who had entered in relief in the top of the fifth, issued two looking strikeouts and a popout to Spaulding at short to earn the win for the Red, White and Blue. Moore finished with two strikeouts in the win, allowing just one hit in her two and one-third innings of work. Gourley issued two hits and one run while Barnhill fanned five with three hits and one run allowed in four and one-third innings.
With the win over Puerto Rico, Team USA earned the No. 1 overall seed at the World Cup of Softball and are set for a rematch against No. 2 seed Japan. The rivalry will be reignited tomorrow at 12 p.m. CT live on ESPN.
USA JWNT 0, Japan 5
The USA Softball JWNT suffered a 5-0 loss to Japan in their final round-robin contest at the World Cup of Softball XII. It marked the first time the JWNT did not score a run against their opponents as the offense was limited to just two hits by an experienced Japanese pitching staff.
Kathryn Sandercock (McLean, Va.) and the JWNT defense came out strong in the top of the first inning, retiring Japan in order with a pair of groundouts and a fly out to centerfield. Japan returned the favor in the bottom of the frame before plating a run in the top of the second off an error. The U.S. would put two runners on base in the bottom of the third after Elissa Brown (Eclectic, Ala.) singled with one out and Hannah Adams (Hoschton, Ga.) was hit by a pitch, but the JWNT was unable to capitalize and the score stood put at 1-0, Japan.
A run in the top of the fourth had the U.S. down by two runs and both sides were silenced at the plate until Japan added another three to their lead. That score would stand, with the JWNT suffering the 5-0 loss.
Sandercock went the full seven innings for the JWNT, striking out two with one walk and seven hits. Brown and Baylee Klingler (Houston, Texas) recorded the two hits for the JWNT.
The USA JWNT earned the No. 5 overall seed at the World Cup of Softball after finishing round-robin play with a 3-4 record.
USA 10, Australia 1
Mother nature made her presence known at the World Cup of Softball XII, but despite the wind and rain, the U.S. cruised to a 10-1 win over Australia.
The Eagles wasted no time at the plate, pushing across two runs in the top of the first before a weather delay halted play. Aguilar walked to start off the game, but a pair of strikeouts kept her at first. She would not stay there long, as Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) doubled on a line drive to the outfield to give Aguilar enough time to leg it out to home. Arioto then hit a hard ground ball to left field to plate Spaulding, who entered as a courtesy runner for Chidester, giving the U.S. the 2-0 edge. U.S. starter Carda was able to issue a strikeout in her first batter faced before inclement weather arrived and caused a one hour and twenty minute weather delay.
Once action resumed, Leigh Godfrey singled and moved to second on a walk to Taylah Tsitsikronis. With two outs, Clare Warwick singled to right field and Moultrie fired the ball to Chidester behind the dish to prevent the run from scoring. Spaulding added to Team USA’s lead in the top of the second with an RBI single with two outs. Jazmyn Jackson (San Jose, Calif.) singled, moved to second on a single from Stewart and used her speed to score from second after Spaulding drove the ball up the middle.
A wild pitch allowed the fourth U.S. run of the game to score in the top of the fifth inning. Spaulding led off the inning with a double, a walk to Chidester put two on and a sac bunt from Arioto moved both runners into scoring position. The bases would become loaded with a walk to Moultrie and a wild pitch got past the Aussie catcher to score run number four for the U.S.
Australia singled in the bottom of the fifth which prompted a pitching change for Team USA as Danielle O’Toole (Upland, Calif.) entered in relief for Carda. A sac bunt, groundout and strikeout from O’Toole kept Australia off the scoreboard.
Three more runs in the top of the sixth got the U.S. a seven-run edge over Australia. A double from Jackson put the leadoff runner on and she moved to third on a sac bunt from Aguilar. Stewart drove a ground ball up the middle to plate Jackson. Another single from Spaulding put two on for Chidester, who also drove a ground ball to center to drive in another two runs.
Trailing by seven, Stacey Porter kept the game from ending in a run-rule with a first pitch home run to put the Aussies on the board. The U.S. tacked on three more runs in the top of the seventh when Spaulding sent a three-run shot over the center field fence, and O’Toole was able to record three strikeouts to keep the U.S. undefeated in round-robin play.
“I was really happy with the way we came out on top in the first inning against Australia tonight,” said Head Coach Ken Eriksen. “It was a grind getting through pool play because these teams continue to get better. We know that we have a formidable opponent tomorrow.”
Tickets for Championship Sunday at the World Cup of Softball XII can be purchased outside the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex at the Ticket Booth. For complete coverage of the World Cup of Softball XII including bios, rosters, live stats, streaming and results log on to USASoftball.com.