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Dawson selected to participate with USA Blue at Canada Cup

DENVER, July 1 - USA Softball announced Thursday that Akron Racers pitcher and 1997 Women's Pro Fastpitch (WPF) Most Valuable Player Sarah Dawson has been selected to participate with the "USA Blue" team at the 1999 Canada Cup July 3-11 in Surrey, British Columbia.

Dawson will replace "USA Blue" team member Amanda Scott, who moved to the USA Softball Women's National Team after 1996 gold medalist Michelle Smith strained her back. Dawson will pitch the first game of Thursday's doubleheader against the Tampa Bay FireStix and then depart for Surrey, British Columbia Friday.

Dawson was one of sixty of the nation's top fastpitch softball players invited to participate in the 1999 Coca-Cola USA Softball Women's National Team Festival June 10-14 at Bulldog Diamond in Fresno, Calif. Twelve WPSL players and three 1999 WPSL Senior Draft selections also participated in the festival.

The Alpine, Calif. native won two games at the festival and did not allow a run in 15 innings pitched. She joins Virginia Roadsters outfielder Barbara Jordan on the "USA Blue" team. Dawson's Akron teammate Crystl Bustos was selected to participate with the USA Softball Women's National Team.

Dawson is 2-5 in the WPSL this season with an ERA of 1.70. She has allowed just 14 earned runs on 50 hits in 57.2 innings pitched, while striking out 35 and walking 16. The former Northeast Louisiana University standout earned WPF MVP honors in 1997 after compiling a record of 30-3 and leading the Orlando Wahoos to their first WPF championship. Dawson sat out the 1998 WPF season.

The WPSL, the world's premier professional fastpitch softball league for women, consists of six teams located in the Eastern United States and features former USA Softball Women's National Team members, collegiate All-Americans and all-conference selections. The WPSL's 66-game regular-season schedule began Thursday, May 13 and concludes Sunday, Aug. 22. The 1999 season features the second annual WPSL All-Star Game, the inaugural WPSL Championship Semifinal and the third annual WPSL Championship Series.