OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - The 2011 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team will open the 2011 International Softball Federation (ISF) Junior Women’s World Championship (19-Under) in Cape Town, South Africa, on Dec. 8 against Canada. The schedule for the tournament, Dec. 7-17, was released August 10 by host organization Softball South Africa.
“We are incredibly excited to start the tournament against one of the most competitive countries in our sport. To be the best, you have to play against the best,” Head Coach Karen Johns (Whippany, N.J.) said. “If our team wants to take home a Gold Medal from Cape Town, they have to be ready from the first pitch of the tournament through the last out in the Championship Game. I am confident that this group of young women has everything it takes to continue the great tradition of the USA Softball program.”
Following the contest with Canada, the U.S. 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 Gold Medal Game scheduled for Dec. 17. The schedule is subject to change.
Tickets for the event are now on sale through Computicket.
Team USA enters the competition as the defending Junior Women’s World Champions, having went 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 upcoming 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 competed in exhibitions against the 2011 USA Softball Women’s National Team earlier this summer in Tampa, Salem, Va., and Bowie, Md. The juniors will rejoin in Cape Town a week prior to the Junior Women’s Worlds for training.
Sixteen athletes have been named to the 17-member USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team, which currently has representatives from six 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), Dallas Escobedo (Glendale, Ariz./Arizona State sophomore), Amber Freeman (Lakewood, Calif./Arizona State freshman), Erin Gabriel (Poland, Ohio/Poland Seminary High School senior), Chelsea Goodacre (Temecula, Calif./Arizona freshman), 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 freshman).
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) has also withdrawn from the team due to injury. The WNTSC has not announced a replacement.
For more information on the 2011 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team, visit USASoftball.com. Additional information on the ISF Junior Women’s Worlds is available at http://jwwc2011.co.za/.
- Courtesy of ASA/USA Softball