USA To Begin Junior Worlds Qualification on Sunday in Colombia
By Johnny Miller
BOGOTA, Colombia â€” Members of the 2010-11 USA Softball Junior Womenâ€™s National Team will play in the Team USA jersey for the first time Sunday when they open the III Pan American Games (18-Under) in Bogota, Colombia, looking to start pool play with a win against the home country. The tournament, a qualifier to International Softball Federation (ISF) Junior Womenâ€™s World Championship, started Saturday with the women marching in the opening ceremony.
â€œWe have had an incredible time in Bogota this week. Every practice has shown me that these young women are ready to compete,â€ said Head Coach Karen Johns (Starkville, Miss.). â€œI am excited for our athletes to finally put on their Team USA jersey and start playing for the gold medal. I have no doubt that these young woman will make us proud not only here in Colombia but on and off the field for many years to come.â€
Sundayâ€™s action is the first of six games (schedule below) the Red, White and Blue will play in Pool A, with the final pool play games being played Thursday against Canada and Brazil. The quarterfinals are Friday with the semi-final games and the Championship Game scheduled for August 14, all at the Unidad Deportiva El Salitre stadium in Bogota.
United States Pool Play Schedule Date Time Game Stadium August 8 3 p.m. Colombia at United States Unidad Deportiva El Salitre August 9 1 p.m. Peru at United States Unidad Deportiva El Salitre August 10 9 a.m. United States at Argentina Estadio Ecopetrol August 11 1 p.m. Mexico at United States Unidad Deportiva El Salitre August 12 1 p.m. Canada at United States Unidad Deportiva El Salitre 3 p.m. United States at Brazil Unidad Deportiva El Salitre
All times are local to Bogota.
Team USA held two scrimmages earlier in the week at Estadio Ecopetrol to prepare for the competition. On Wednesday, three members of the team, Kylee Lahners (Laguna Hills, Calif.), Lauren Chamberlain (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) and Chelsea Zgrabik (Nokomis, Fla.), hit home runs to help the Americans to a 17-0 victory over Argentina. Team USA also defeated Canada 8-2 on Thursday with Chamberlain and Cheyenne Cordes (Fairfield, Calif.) hitting homers.
Five teams from Pan American Games (18-Under), held every four years, advance to the Junior Womenâ€™s Worlds, scheduled next for December 2011, in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2006, the United States defeated Puerto Rico 7-0 in the Championship Game to advance to the Junior Worlds in Enschede, Netherlands, where Team USA defeated the three time Junior Womenâ€™s World Champion Japan 3-1.
2010-11 USA Softball Junior Womenâ€™s National Team Roster Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif./California Lady Magic) Lauren Chamberlain (Trabuco Canyon, Calif./California Worth Firecrackers 18-Under Gold) Cheyenne Cordes (Fairfield, Calif./California Lady Magic) Dallas Escobedo (Glendale, Ariz./Arizona Hotshots Gold) Amber Freeman (Lakewood, Calif./Corona Angels 18-Under Gold-Tyson) Erin Gabriel (Poland, Ohio/Valley Extreme Blue) Chelsea Goodacre (Temecula, Calif./California Fury) Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz./ Arizona Hotshots Gold) Kylee Lahners (Laguna Hills, Calif./ California Worth Firecrackers 18-Under Gold) Destinee Martinez (Corona, Calif./ Corona Angels 18-Under Gold-Tyson) Shelby Pendley (Albuquerque, N.M./New Mexico Sundancers) Kourtney Salvarola (Arnold, Md./Wagners) Madison Shipman (Valencia, Calif./So Cal Choppers) Cheyanne Tarango (Anaheim Hills, Calif./ California Worth Firecrackers 18-Under Gold) Nyree White (Eugene, Ore./ California Worth Firecrackers 18-Under Gold) Hallie Wilson (North Tustin, Calif./ California Worth Firecrackers 18-Under Gold) Chelsea Zgrabik (Nokomis, Fla./Florida Tropic Wave-Morgan)
Suzy Brazney (Huntington Beach, Calif./head coach Golden West College), Stacy Iveson (Prescott, Ariz./head coach Yavapai College) and Pat Murphy (Northport, Ala./head coach Alabama) will join Johns in Colombia as assistant coaches. Joe Salvatore (Monroe Township, N.J./coach New Jersey Breakers) is the volunteer assistant coach for the Junior Womenâ€™s National Team.
The 17 members of the 2010-11 USA Softball Junior Womenâ€™s National Team competing in Bogota were selected by the five-member USA Softball Womenâ€™s National Team Selection Committee (WNTSC) based on performances at the 2010-11 USA Softball Junior Womenâ€™s National Team Selection Camp, June 10-12, at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
Forty-one athletes from the USA Softball Junior Womenâ€™s National Team player pool attended the Selection Camp. The player pool is made up of athletes that have been identified by WNTSC as an elite softball player in the appropriate age group. Athletes that are identified come from observations at the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) Junior National Tournaments, recommendations from college coaches, high school coaches and ASA Junior Olympic (JO) Coaches.