GLENVILLE, W.V. - University of Oregon freshman utility player Danica Mercado and pitcher Cheridan Hawkins look ahead to their first appearances on the USA Softball Junior National Team this week in preparation for the upcoming ISF World Fastpitch Junior Women's World Championship.
Before the world finale in Brampton Ontario, July 1-7, the duo will play an exhibition game in Glenville, W.V., on Monday, June 24, then will train for several days at a training camp.
The seven-day ISF tournament will feature the world's top players age 19 and under from Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore and Venezuela.
More event information is available at the www.usasoftball.com website at the http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Softball/Events/2013/July/01/X-Junior-Womens-World-Championship URL address.
The Duck duo will first get to know their teammates at an exhibition game in Glenville, West Virginia on Monday, June 25. A youth clinic will also be held in conjunction, and ticket information and other details are available at the http://wvaasa.com web site.
Joining Mercado and Hawkins on the 17-person roster are Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.), Emily Crane (Troy, Mo.), Jailyn Ford (Hot Springs, Va.), Andrea Hawkins (Bay City, Texas), Sierra Lawrence (Snellville, Ga.), Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.), Paige McDuffee (The Woodlands, Texas), Erica Nunn (Apex, N.C.), Jessica Plaza (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif.), Mysha Sataraka (Honolulu, Hawaii), Erin Shireman (Pearland, Texas), Lee Ann Spivey (Palm Coast, Fla.), Lauren Young (Anaheim, Calif.), and Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.).
Directing the Red, White and Blue squad, Team USA head coach Tairia Flowers (Tucson, Ariz./head coach Cal State Northridge) will lead the team in defense of its 2011 World Championship Gold Medal from Cape Town, South Africa.
Along with Flowers, four-time Olympian Laura Berg (head coach Oregon State), Trisha Ford (head coach Fresno State), and Lisa Dodd (head coach at UNLV/former Oregon assistant coach) will join the coaching staff in Canada.
“We’ve got a really talented group this year,” said Flowers. “We’re still getting to know each other on and off the field. This group is excited to wear the Red, White and Blue across their chest and it’s been fun to watch them come together as a team. We’re ready to head to the World Championships to continue the winning tradition of USA Softball.*
This spring, Hawkins was honored as a Pac-12 First-Team and All-Region Second-Team choice after she ranked top 25 nationally in strikeouts per seven innings (fifth, 10.6 avg.), saves (fifth, 6) and ERA (18th, 1.55).
On UO charts, the three-time Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week posted top-12 all-time school marks season-wise in strikeouts (212) and wins (19). The Anderson, Calif., native also notched a school-record 17 strikeouts in a no-hitter of Seattle and also threw a five-inning no-hitter vs. No. 17 Arizona.
Mercado made 27 starts for the Pac-12 Champion Ducks, and played 42 games at second base, DP and in the outfield. She banged out 16 hits, stole three bases and knocked in 5 RBI on the season, and in Pac-12 play hit .261.
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