DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball will host more Women’s National Team identification events than ever before in 2012, the federation announced Thursday. It also named the four-person coaching staff for the IBAF Women’s Baseball World Cup in August.Three regional tryouts for the 2012 Women’s National Team will be held across the country in June, and from there 20 women will be selected to represent their country in the IBAF Women’s Baseball World Cup in Edmonton, Canada, Aug. 10-19. The United States has not won World Cup gold since it secured titles in the first two events in 2004 and 2006. Japan finished first in 2008 and 2010.
New for 2012 is a 16U women’s division in the National Team Identification Series (NTIS), set for Sept. 7-9, at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. Heading into its fourth year, the NTIS serves as USA Baseball’s most all-encompassing identification event for the following year’s National Teams.
“We’re excited to bring back the regional tryout model that we debuted in 2010,” said USA Baseball Women’s National Team Director Ashley Bratcher. “The tryouts helped us identify up-and-coming women’s baseball talent in the United States, and we look forward to discovering the next wave of athletes, both there and at the NTIS this fall.”
Up to 36 players will be identified for the 2012 Women’s National Team Trials through three methods: the regional tryout process, athletes selected from the 2011 Women’s International Friendship Series in Cary, N.C., and by recommendations from scouts, college and high school coaches, and the women’s baseball community. Tryouts will be held at the University of San Francisco on June 2, at Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, Ill., on June 9, and at the National Training Complex on June 16.
Please click here for complete details and registration information for USA Baseball’s Women’s National Team Tryouts.
During each one-day tryout, USA Baseball coaches and task force members will evaluate each of the athletes and select a minimum of 24 players to attend the 2012 USA Baseball Women’s National Team Trials, to be held July 29 – Aug. 1, at the University of San Francisco. Players will participate in practices and intrasquad games to compete for one of the final 20 roster spots on the 2012 USA Baseball Women’s National Team. The U.S. team will train from Aug. 2-9, before departing for Edmonton.
Pegged to lead the 2012 Women’s National Team is Ruben Felix, who first managed for the U.S. as part of the 2011 Women’s International Friendship Series. Felix also won a bronze medal as an assistant coach with the 2010 USA Baseball 14U National Team, and he served as an assistant coach on the 2009 World Baseball Classic Team. Felix is currently an assistant coach for the University of Central Florida softball team.
Joining Felix on the coaching staff will be pitching coach Jonathan Pollard and assistant coaches Jenny Dalton-Hill and Ed Kurakazu. Pollard and Dalton-Hill served as coaches in the 2011 Women’s International Friendship Series — Dalton-Hill also won a World Cup bronze medal in 2010 as a player for the U.S. — while Kurakazu will be making his sixth appearance on a USA Baseball women’s coaching staff, having also served from 2006-08 and 2010-11.
“Securing four coaches from the 2011 friendship series brings continuity to our women’s program,” said Bratcher. “We see this continuity as essential for the growth of our women’s program and to bringing World Cup gold back to the United States.”
Upon return from the World Cup, USA Baseball will field its first-ever NTIS 16U women’s division. Sixty (60) roster spots for the event be filled via open registration at www.WomensNTIS.com. Players will be divided into four teams following an on-site skills evaluation. Each team will play a total of four seven-inning games over the course of the event, with the first game for each team being a coach-pitched simulation. At the conclusion of the NTIS, a minimum of three age-eligible players will earn an invitation to the 2013 USA Baseball Women’s International Friendship Series.
Please click here for complete details and registration information for USA Baseball’s NTIS 16U women’s division.