OKLAHOMA CITY – The road to Gold for members of the USA Softball Junior Women's (JWNT) and Women's National Team (WNT) begins tomorrow morning as athletes and coaches for both teams begin a week-long training camp at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex. Announced today by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball, the National Governing Body of Softball in the U.S., athletes on both rosters will train together throughout the week and will hold scrimmages that will be open to the public.
"The greatest aspect of having a Junior National Team program is that you are able to see the potential of some of this country's young players compete internationally," said Women's National Team Head Coach Ken Eriksen. "The ability for us to train together and continue the philosophy of USA Softball through an 'integrated pipeline' is something that Mike Candrea had talked about 15 years ago. To see that come to fruition is a coach's dream and a program enhancer. For the future stars of the National Team it's important to be prepared and also to show the National Team that they, as junior players, can fit into the future."
Members for both teams will begin the training camp Monday morning at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex. In addition to training, members of the JWNT will also participate in two scrimmages against local ASA/USA 18U teams on Tuesday and Wednesday, while both the JWNT and WNT will hold a scrimmage on Thursday night on OGE Energy Field. All scrimmages, including Thursday's which is slated for a 6:15 p.m. start time, will be open to the public with free admission and concession stands will be open for fans attending.
"I'm excited for this opportunity for both our National Team programs," said Junior Women's National Team Head Coach Tairia Flowers. "Having both teams together ready to work on our skills, compete and represent our country is amazing. Thank you to ASA/USA Softball and all of those who have helped put this training camp together. It should be an exciting couple of weeks and the beginning of our journey to the World Championship this August."
Following the conclusion of the training camp, members of both teams will head to Houston, Texas where the teams will participate in a series of exhibition games against each other. From there, the JWNT will head to Ashland, Ohio while the WNT will head north to Waldorf, Md.
The World Cup of Softball X marks the first international event of the 2015 season for both the WNT and JWNT. For the WNT, the World Cup is one of three international events in 2015. Following the World Cup of Softball, Team USA will travel internationally to compete in the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 15-26 and will then head to Japan August 2-10 for the Japan Cup in Ōgaki, Gifu, Japan. For the JWNT, the World Cup will give the team their first international competition before taking on the world at the WBSC Junior Women's World Championship (JWWC), August 9-15 in Oklahoma City, Okla. at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex.
Follow along with both the JWNT and WNT this summer on their road to Gold at www.ASAUSASoftball.com.
About ASA/USA Softball
Founded in 1933, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball is the National Governing Body Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, ASA/USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 74 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 165,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2.5 million. ASA/USA is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles as well as claimed eight World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about ASA/USA Softball, please visit http://www.asausasoftball.com