As we near the start of the 2020 USA Softball GOLD National Championships, we're highlighting some of the teams who will take to the fields in Broken Arrow and Oklahoma City, Okla.
Meet the 16U Vision Gold, a team competing in the 16-Under division. Based out of Arkansas, Head Coach Erica Derryberry breaks down what you can expect to see from her 2020 roster.
Team: 16U Vision Gold
Home State: Arkansas
Head Coach: Erica Derryberry
Previous GOLD Nationals Experience: First-time GOLD Nationals Participant
What year was the team founded: “This team originally came together in 2015 as the NWA Legends and became the Vision Gold team in 2018.”
Returning players from 2019: 10
Noteworthy events and recent tournaments: “2020 – Tulsa Elite Summer Invite, Tulsa Elite Wilson Invite, Top Gun Invite in Kansas City, Top Gun Synergy in Arkansas; July 2020 – 4-0 in Tulsa Elite Wilson Invite; June 2020 – 5-1 in USA Gold Memorial Day Invite (Broken Arrow) – outscored opponents 58-6; June 2020 – 5-2 in Tulsa Elite Invite; 2019 USA JO Cup in Spartanburg, SC – competed in this elite event for the first time and finished in the top ½; Colorado Sparkler – finished 5th in our bracket; 2019 Top Gun Synergy – went 4-2 before a rainout; 2019 Tulsa Elite Wilson Invite – 5th place finish; 2019 Chattanooga Scenic City Showcase – finished 1st in pool; bracket play was rained out; 2019 USA Elite Select Tulsa Shootout – 2nd place finish; 2018 USA 14U “A” Nationals in Bowling Green, KY – 13th place finish out of 90 teams; 2018 USSA Elite Select World Fastpitch Championship Tournament; 2018 Tulsa Elite Wilson Invite – 8th place finish; 2018 USA Elite Select Tulsa Shootout – 3rd place finish; 2018 Colorado Sparkler Juniors Tournament – we won our Supplemental Pool to earn our way into the Power Pool Bracket; 2018 Arkansas USA National Qualifier – Bryant, AR – we won 1st place to qualify for USA “A” Nationals.”
What are some of the strengths your team will bring this season: “This team plays extremely solid defense and has strong pitching that will keep us in ballgames. A huge strength is our ability to hit up and down the lineup. Every athlete in our lineup has the capability of putting the ball out of the park. We are also a fast, athletic team who will challenge opponents on the bases. In addition, we have a stronger team chemistry than ever before. Our players push each other to succeed and have each other’s backs in tough situations.”
What is a primary focus your team has as you prepare for the 2020 GOLD National Championship: “As we prepare for Gold Nationals, we are keeping our focus on throwing quality pitches from the circle to challenge hitters; we want to make routine plays, as well as take away some hits on defense; and we focus on attacking good pitches in the zone offensively and having quality at-bats. We are looking forward to competing with tough competition this week at Gold Nationals!”
What are some of the benefits of playing with USA Softball and at GOLD Nationals: “Gold Nationals is a prestigious event that we are excited to be a part of. It’s going to be a great opportunity for our athletes to compete with top-level competition!”