CHULA VISTA, Calif. –– Members of the 2020-21 USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) have landed in Chula Vista, Calif. for their fifth training camp of the 2021 season. Held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center May 3-17, the team will take part in a series of workouts and practice sessions in addition to three 10-inning exhibition contests against the University of San Diego, Loyola Marymount University and California State University, Northridge throughout the two-week training camp. The games are a part of the 2021 “Stand Beside Her” tour, presented by Major League Baseball (MLB), and will provide much-needed preparation as the U.S. WNT continues their focus on claiming a fourth Olympic Gold Medal at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games.
“I am so excited to be returning ‘home’ for our May training camp,” said WNT member and San Diego-native, Hannah Flippen. “The Chula Vista Training Center is such a great place for us to continue our preparations for Tokyo and having the opportunity to play some games in Southern California, where so many of us are from, is super special. I can’t wait to get back to work!”
Following the postponement of the pre-Olympic “Stand Beside Her” tour, presented by MLB, the Red, White and Blue squad resumed preparations for the highly anticipated Tokyo Olympic Games in January with a series of monthly training camps and exhibition games. Participating in their fifth training camp of the 2021 season, Team USA heads to Chula Vista with an 8-0 record while limiting their opponents to just 9 runs in their eight contests. For more information on the 2021 “Stand Beside Her” tour, presented by MLB, please visit StandBesideHerTour.com.
Set to be held at the University of San Diego Softball Complex (5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, Calif. 92110), Team USA will look to improve their 2021 “Stand Beside Her” tour record to 9-0 as they take on San Diego in a 4 p.m. PT solo contest on Thursday, May 6. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, tickets for the game will be limited to a pass list for San Diego scholar-athletes and coaches with no tickets available to the public. Live stats will be available on USASoftball.com.
“My team and I are looking forward to the opportunity to play Team USA again,” said San Diego Head Coach, MJ Knighten. “We were fortunate enough to get the chance to compete against them during the 2020 season at the Mary Nutter Classic, which was a special moment for a lot of our girls who look up to the players on the Women’s National Team. We can’t wait to share the field with them again!”
Team USA will return to the field for a 1 p.m. PT matchup against Loyola Marymount University on Monday, May 10 where the Red, White and Blue squad will share the field with WNT assistant coach, Tairia Flowers, who is currently guiding the Lions in their 2021 collegiate season. Held at Smith Field (1 LMU Drive, Los Angeles, Calif. 90045), tickets for the game will be limited to a pass list due to COVID-19 restrictions, however live stats will be available on USASoftball.com.
“I am looking forward to seeing Team USA in action,” said Flowers. “It’s been a while since I’ve been with the Women’s National Team and I’ve definitely been missing them, but I know they are taking care of business as they gear up for Tokyo. Our LMU athletes are so excited to have the opportunity to compete against the best of the best and are truly looking forward to the challenge. The Team USA athletes are players that so many of our Lions grew up watching and admiring, so for them to have this experience will be super special and I’m so glad to be a part of it.”
The U.S. WNT will round out their May training camp in Northridge, Calif. with a 1 p.m. PT contest against California State University, Northridge on May 16 at Matador Diamond (9601 Zelzah Ave, Northridge, Calif. 91325). Due to COVID-19 restrictions, tickets for the game will be limited to a pass list available to families of CSUN student-athletes and coaches, however live stats will be available on USASoftball.com.
“We couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity to play Team USA as they get ready for the Tokyo Olympics,” said CSUN Head Coach, Charlotte Morgan. “I have played with and against some of the Team USA players like Cat Osterman and am thrilled to be able to see them compete and have our program be a part of their preparation for the Olympics. This experience doesn’t come around often, and our team cannot wait to be able to play against the best in our game while being able to learn from them at the same time. Having this opportunity is also great for our University to be able to welcome back our fans to see the best of the best. We want to thank USA Softball for everything they are doing to represent our country and the game we play every day.”
The 18-player roster will be without Rachel Garcia, Dejah Mulipola and Bubba Nickles as well as assistant coaches Laura Berg, Howard Dobson, Tairia Flowers and Heather Tarr who all remain with their respective collegiate teams. Assisting Head Coach Ken Eriksen with coaching will be Laura Ricciardone, Kyla Holas and two-time Olympian Kelly Kretschman while Haylie Wagner will join the team as a training player for the month of May.
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