OKLAHOMA CITY — The USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team will prepare for the International Softball Federation (ISF) Junior Women’s World Championship with exhibition games against the 2011 USA Softball Women’s National Team, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today. The team will also briefly train in Tampa, Fla., Salem, Va., and Bowie, Md., in addition to playing in the exhibitions.
“Since the team was formed last summer, their ultimate goal has been to win the Gold Medal at the Junior Women’s World Championships,” said Junior Women’s National Team Head Coach Karen Johns (Whippany, N.J.). “Playing against the USA Softball Women’s National Team, the best team in the world, will be invaluable for them as they prepare for the challenge of the junior teams from Canada, Japan and the other international softball powerhouses. The USA has an amazing group of junior women representing them. I know they are looking forward to the opportunity of playing in Florida, Maryland and Virginia before taking on the world, and they will be ready for the challenge.”
Joining Johns on the Junior Women’s National Team staff are Suzy Brazney (Huntington Beach, Calif./Head coach at Golden West College), Stacy Iveson (Prescott Valley, Ariz./Head coach at Yavapai College), Tony Rico (Huntington Beach, Calif./Coach for the Worth Firecrackers) and Joe Salvatore (Monroe Township, N.J./Coach for New Jersey Breakers). Rico, coach of the Worth Firecrackers, is making his first coaching appearance with the program while the three other assistants were instrumental in the team’s Gold Medal showing at the III Pan American Championship in Bogota, Colombia, in August.
The Junior Women’s National Team will play against the National Team June 24-25 at the University of South Florida, where team member Kourtney Salvarola (Arnold, Md.) currently plays under the direction of Ken Eriksen (Tampa, Fla.), who is also the USA Softball Women’s National Team Head Coach. The teams will clash again on June 29 at LewisGale Field, home of the Salem Red Sox, in Salem, Va., and July 1 at Prince George's Stadium, home of the Bowie Baysox, in Bowie, Md.
For ticket information on the three exhibitions, please visit USASoftball.com. Tickets for the exhibitions in Salem and Bowie are currently on sale with ticket information for Florida to be announced.
The Junior Women’s National Team will hold practices June 23-26 in Tampa, June 27-29 in Salem, June 30-July 1 in Bowie as well as Dec. 2-6 in Cape Town, South Africa, the site of the Junior Women’s World Championship.
Competition at the Junior Women’s World Championship is Dec. 7-17. Last August, Team USA, which is currently has a record of 9-0, qualified for Junior Worlds by taking the Gold Medal at the III Pan American Championships (18-Under) with a 3-1 defeat of Canada. Silver Medalists Canada, Bronze Medalists Puerto Rico, fourth place finisher Brazil and fifth place finisher Argentina also qualified out of Bogota along with the USA.
The United States is the defending Junior Women’s World Champion, beating Japan 3-1 at the 2007 event in Enschede, Netherlands. Team USA has never finished lower than third in the tournament, winning silver in 1981, bronze in 1985, gold in 1987, silver in 1991, gold in 1995, silver in 1999 and silver in 2003.