USA Softball set to open season

June 29, 2006, 1:46 p.m. (ET)
USA Softball set to open season
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The 2006 USA Softball Women’s National Team will open its 2006 season this weekend at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson Ariz., as it faces the Arizona Heat in a three-day exhibition series beginning Friday at 8 p.m. 
The series continues with a double-header on Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. and a final game on Sunday at 8 p.m. This will be one of two exhibition series before Team USA takes on the best in the world at the II World Cup of Softball presented by Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, July 13-17 in Oklahoma City, Okla. The II World Cup, which is only two weeks away, will bring together truly the world’s best teams to compete for the championship.
The Heat (7-9) of the National Pro Fastpitch League (NPF) is coming off a 2-2 series with the Texas Thunder, where Houston native Cat Osterman threw out the first pitch for the final game. Osterman is one of three collegiate pitchers who will compete for the Red, White and Blue in 2006 after competing for their college teams at the Women’s College World Series.
The roster for the USA National Team boasts five players with ties to Tucson including three former University of Arizona players and one current. Jennie Finch, Alicia Hollowell and Lovieanne Jung all competed for the Wildcats during their college career while outfielder Caitlin Lowe is set to enter her senior season at U of A. Tucson native Tairia Flowers, a member of the National Team program since 2001, will also be returning home this weekend.
In their final exhibition prior to the World Cup, Team USA will compete against the USA Softball World University Games team on July 10 in Irvine, Calif., before heading to the “Softball Capital of the World” – Oklahoma City.
For the second consecutive year the World Cup of Softball will bring together the top five teams in the world as the national teams from Australia, China, Canada, Japan and the USA meet in Oklahoma City. These teams, which have all competed in the last three Olympic Games, will be joined by Great Britain as the event expands to six teams in 2006.