Friday, October 16, 2015

Team USA Selection Camp Invitees Announced

The initial list of invitees to Team USA's selection camp has been announced. Forty-three athletes have been invited to participate in the weeklong camp in January of next year.
Buoyed by the sports' best-case-scenario return to the Olympic Games in 2020, the national team has invited several long time professional softball vets and former USA players to the 2016 camp, assumingly with the intention of reestablishing the nation's dominance leading up to the Tokyo Games.

For the first time since 2008, all-time great Monica Abbott will suit up in the red, white, and blue in January. Abbott is one of six National Pro Fastpitch veterans that have been invited to the tryout; three members of the Chicago Bandits, including Abbott and power hitters Brittany Cervantes and Taylor Edwards all received invitations. For the latter duo, this would be their first time taking the field with Team USA. Also worthy of note is that 2015 second-overall draft selection Shelby Pendley of the USSSA Pride and Lauren Haeger of the Dallas Charge are both on the list, in addition.

Only twenty-four of the invitees are current college players, a much smaller percentage in that category than in years past. Five members of the Class of 2015 were invited, as well as four from the Class of 2014. Abbott is the elder statesman of the group, having graduated from Tennessee in 2007.

Headlining the active group of softballers that received invitations are Louisiana-Lafayette’s Lexie Elkins; Georgia’s Alex Hugo; Oregon’s Jenna Lilley; Alabama’s Haylie McCleney; Florida’s Kelsey Stewart; and Michigan’s Sierra Romero.

The Gators of Florida are the school most represented at the tryouts, with two alumni and three current players headed to Irvine.

Madilyn Nickles, a member of the class of 2016 as a high school senior and a UCLA commitment, is the youngest player invited to the camp. Nickles has played on the Junior Women’s National Team, and will be joined at the tryout by fourteen of her 2015 teammates from that squad.

The full list of invitees can be found below. Unless otherwise noted, the player has graduated.
  • Monica Abbott, Tennessee
  • Annie Aldrete, Tennessee (JR)
  • Valerie Arioto, Cal
  • Kelly Barnhill, Florida (FR)
  • Bianka Bell, LSU (SR)
  • Kristen Brown, North Carolina (SR)
  • Ally Carda, UCLA
  • Brittany Cervantes, Kentucky
  • Raven Chavanne, Tennessee
  • Amanda Chidester, Michigan
  • Zoe Conley, CSU-Northridge (SO)
  • Nicole DeWitt, Florida (SO)
  • Astin Donovan, South Florida (SO)
  • Taylor Edwards, Nebraska
  • Lexie Elkins, Louisiana-Lafayette (SR)
  • Sam Fischer, Loyola Marymount
  • Kellie Fox, Arizona
  • Lauren Gibson, Tennessee
  • Meghan Gregg, Tennessee (SO)
  • Emily Griggs, LSU (SO)
  • Lauren Haeger, Florida
  • Paige Halstead, UCLA (FR)
  • Alex Hugo, Georgia (SR)
  • Jazmyn Jackson, Cal (SO)
  • Jenna Lilley, Oregon (SO)
  • Janelle Lindvall, Oregon (SR)
  • Paige Lowary, Missouri (SO)
  • Haylie McCleney, Alabama (SR)
  • Jessica Moore, Oregon
  • Michelle Moultrie, Florida
  • Sara Nevins, South Florida
  • Madilyn Nickles, Merced High School [UCLA commit]
  • Haley Outon, Houston
  • Alyssa Palomino, Arizona (FR)
  • Shelby Pendley, Oklahoma
  • Jenavee Peres, San Diego State (SO)
  • Jessica Plaza, Stanford (SR)
  • Sierra Romero, Michigan (SR)
  • Sydney Romero, Oklahoma (FR)
  • DJ Sanders, Louisiana-Lafayette (SO)
  • Kelsey Stewart, Florida (SR)
  • Janie Takeda, Oregon
  • Jackie Traina, Alabama

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