OKLAHOMA CITY – Twenty-four members of the USA Softball Junior Women's National Team (JWNT) kicked off their 2017 season in Oklahoma City, Okla. as the athletes and coaching staff will participate in training camp and exhibition games at the Softball Capital of the World®. As the team begins preparations for the 2017 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Junior Women’s World Championship this July 24-30 in Clearwater, Fla., the JWNT will conclude their training camp with five exhibition games June 16-18.
This marks the first time the team has come together since the announcement of the 2017 roster in January following the JWNT Selection Camp. Set to conduct training throughout the week at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex, the Red, White and Blue will participate in five exhibition games against elite Junior Olympic (JO) travel clubs from across the United States: Absolute Blast – Rhinehart, Lady Gators – Jackson, LA VooDoo, South Dakota Renegades and the Texas Bombers. The U.S. will face the Texas Bombers at 5 p.m. CT on June 16 followed by a 7 p.m. CT game against the South Dakota Renegades. The team continues exhibition games on Saturday, June 17 with a 3 p.m. CT game against LA VooDoo and a 5 p.m. CT game against Absolute Blast before concluding their schedule on Sunday, June 18 at 9 a.m. against the Lady Gators.
Led by Head Coach Laura Berg (Oregon State head coach), Trisha Ford (Arizona State head coach), Kristie Fox (UT-Arlington head coach), two-time Olympian Natasha Watley (CSUN director of operations) and three-time Olympian Lori Harrigan-Mack (College of Southern Nevada pitching coach) will serve as assistant coaches for the 2017 USA Softball JWNT.
The 2017 USA Softball JWNT game schedule for the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Junior Women’s World Championship has been set as the team will look to defend the Gold Medal. Held July 24-30 at the Eddie C. Moore Sports Complex in Clearwater, Fla., a record 26 nations will be competing at the youth softball flagship event with the Red, White and Blue slated for six pool games before playoffs begin.
The 26 teams that will compete are:
Pool A: Chinese Taipei, Guatemala, Italy, Philippines, Turkey, South Africa, USA
Pool B: Australia, Bahamas, Brazil, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Peru
Pool C: Argentina, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, India, New Zealand, Puerto Rico
Pool D: Canada, China, Great Britain, Ireland, Korea, Mexico
Team USA will open up play against Turkey at 9 a.m. ET on July 24 with remaining pool play games against Chinese Taipei, Guatemala, Italy, Philippines and South Africa. The U.S. will fight for a top-two seed in their pool as the top two finishers will advance into the Championship round robin, which will be divided into two pools. The remaining teams in each pool will be split between two placement round divisions.
Currently ranked No. 2 in the world, the U.S. will look to defend their Gold Medal finish at the 2015 WBSC Junior Women’s World Championship, which was held in Oklahoma City, Okla
-- Courtesy of USA Softball