Editor’s note: From our friend Steve Embree, at USA Softball. Life is tough, but somebody’s got to make these trips !
Azzano Decimo, Italy – The USA Softball Women’s National Team arrived in Italy on Wednesday to compete in one last international tournament in preparation for the 2014 International Softball Federation (ISF) XIV Women’s World Championship which kicks off August 15 in Haarlem, Netherlands. Beginning today, Team USA will join Australia and Italy in the Italian Softball Week event in Azzano Decimo, Italy. Following the four-day tournament, the USA Women’s National Team will travel to Haarlem to begin their quest for a tenth ISF Women’s World Championship Gold.
Italian Softball Week, August 7-10
Italian Softball Week begins with round-robin play at 10 a.m. CDT (5 p.m. local) on August 7 when Team USA takes the field with Australia. The opening contest will be immediately followed by USA versus Italy at 1:30 p.m. CDT (8:30 local). Play continues August 8-9 with the three teams playing each other twice. On August 10, the teams with the second a third best records will play in a semifinal contest at 11 a.m. CDT (6 p.m. local) with the winner advancing to play the team with the best pool-play record in the finals at 2:00 p.m. CDT (9 p.m. local).
Click here for coverage throughout the Italian Softball Week event
The USA Women will travel to Haarlem, Netherlands on August 11 for the ISF Women’s World Championship. They’ll kick off the event by playing the host country, the Netherlands on August 15 at 1 p.m. CDT (8 p.m. local time). Following their opening game with Netherlands, the USA is scheduled to play six other pool-play games: Botswana on August 16, Chinese Taipei on August 17, Great Britain on August 18, Australia on August 19, Dominican Republic on August 20 and Italy on August 21. The playoffs are scheduled to begin on August 22 with the finals on August 24.
In the most previous ISF Women’s World Championship in 2012, the USA fell to Japan 2-1 (ten innings) in the championship game to claim the silver medal. It was just the fourth time in the history of the event that Team USA came away with anything other than Gold. This season, the USA Women are coming off of a first-place finish in the General Tire World Cup of Softball and a second-place finish at the Canadian Open.
The ISF plans to stream the World Championship tournament online. The link for the streaming as well as live stats will be available via www.usasoftball.com throughout the tournament.
Athletes competing for USA Softball in Italy and the Netherlands: Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif./California 2012); Raven Chavanne (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Tennessee 2013); Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Michigan 2012); Samantha Fischer (Simi Valley, Calif./Loyola Marymount 2012); Kellie Fox (San Diego, Calif./Arizona Senior); Lauren Gibson (Pasadena, Md./Tennessee 2013); Jolene Henderson (Elk Grove, Calif./California 2013); Taylor Hoagland (Flower Mound, Texas/Texas 2013); Destinee Martinez (Corona, Calif./Oklahoma 2014); Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala./Alabama Junior); Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif./Oregon 2013) Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla./Florida 2012); Sara Nevins (Pinellas Park, Fla./South Florida 2014); Jessica Plaza (Huntington Beach, Calif./Stanford Junior); Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan./Florida Junior); Jackie Traina (Naples, Fla./Alabama 2014); Hallie Wilson (Santa Ana, Calif./Arizona Senior).
Ken Eriksen (Tampa, Fla./ Head Coach of Univ. of South Florida) leads the way in his fourth year as the head coach and is joined by assistant coaches Laura Berg (Corvallis, Ore../Head Coach at Oregon State), Howard Dobson (Orange, Texas/Assistant Coach at LSU) and Lisa Dodd (San Diego, Calif./Head Coach at the UNLV).
(1 PM CDT) USA vs Netherlands
(5:30 AM CDT)
USA vs Botswana
(9:30 AM CDT)
USA vs Chinese Taipei
(8 AM CDT)
USA vs Great Britain
(10:30 AM CDT)
USA vs Australia
(10:30 AM CDT)
USA vs Dominican Rep.
(7 AM CDT)
USA vs Italy
August 22-24 TBD Playoffs