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ASA/USA Softball

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July 3

Hey guys!

I’m Danica Mercado, a second baseman on the USA Juniors team and yesterday we played the Czech Republic for a pool play game in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. As a team we played great, our pitchers have continued to do awesome for us and our bats are heating up. I think the most uncomfortable thing about playing Czech was the fact that they were the first team we have faced in this tournament that have not spoken English on the field. Fascinated with the different language they speak, it is easy to find yourself distracted. However, I feel that our team did a very good job on staying focused and did not let that affect the way we played. I think we were very disciplined at the plate and kept rallies alive because of it. We ended up defeating Czech in four innings, as the score was 13-0. I am more than excited to experience the rest of this tournament with my incredible teammates.  

- Danica Mercado #6

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July 1

Today we had the wonderful opportunity of waking up at 5:30 a.m. to play in our very first international game. I must say, waking up wasn't too bad until it got to this afternoon and it hit me... I'm pooped! But back on track - the game! We played Great Britain and it was very interesting seeing how other countries play the game. We won 10-0, and we didn't let up for anyone! It was a great way to get started in the tournament, and I'm hoping we keep this kind of play up because this could be a special week.

Tonight we are heading to the tournament's opening ceremonies. I'm super excited! I've heard there will be a band and a parade of all the teams. Better yet - they are feeding us dinner! You can't beat free food! I'll be sure to take lots of pictures!

- Emily Crane #2

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June 29

Hey guys!

My experience thus far with the Junior National Team has truly been a blessing. I can’t even explain how amazing it has been to play with such amazing teammates and be a small part in something that is so big. Playing in the States was a blast and the turnouts that we got at our games in Ohio and in West Virginia were awesome. Now we’re all in Canada getting prepared for international play! All 17 of us have worked so hard during our training and we’re all SO ready to bring home another gold medal for USA softball. WE CAN’T WAIT! It’s so exciting and interesting to see all these different countries and how they play the game. It’s pretty awesome hearing the British and Australians with their accents communicating on the field, let alone some other teams speaking in different languages like the Brazilians, Puerto Ricans, and Japanese! It’s so cool!

We’ve been training for about a week now and I still don’t think it has set in yet that I am playing for the United States of America. I still get chills every time I put on our practice outfits that say, “USA Softball.” This experience is something that I will definitely remember for a lifetime; not only because of the huge honor of representing my country, but doing it with some of the most amazing people you could ever find. I thank God every day for this opportunity and every day I feel more and more blessed to wear the USA jersey. 

- Haylie McCleney #28