OKLAHOMA CITY (Press Release) — Coming off a 2018 season that included a World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s Softball World Championship title and clinching a Tokyo 2020 Olympic berth, USA Softball is proud to unveil the 2019 schedule for the USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) that includes three tour stops and international competition within the United States.
“As we prepare for our ‘Journey to Japan’ in 2020, it’s important to remember that another jewel in the crown moving forward is the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru and winning back the Gold Medal,” said USA Softball WNT Head Coach, Ken Eriksen (Tampa, Fla./Head Coach at USF). “Team USA will prepare for Peru with a challenging training and game schedule starting off with a week of training in Chicago. We look forward to the initial get together as a short spring training before we get into some heavy competition right away.”
As the No. 1 ranked team in the world, Team USA’s lineup of events include contests against professional softball teams and international competitions that include teams ranked within the Top 25 of the WBSC World Softball rankings.
Members of the WNT will gather for the first time this season June 10-16 in Rosemont, Ill., home of the Chicago Bandits, for training camp and exhibition games. The weeklong training camp also includes exhibition games against the Chicago Bandits and USSSA Pride, two teams within the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. The action kicks off on Friday, June 14 as the U.S. will take on the Bandits at 4 p.m. CT followed by a game against the Pride. The teams will meet again on Saturday, June 15 with Team USA’s first game of the day at 3 p.m. CT against the Pride and a 7 p.m. CT matchup against the Bandits. A 2 p.m. CT contest against the Bandits on Sunday, June 16 will close out the exhibition schedule. Click here for a game schedule and ticket information
From there, Team USA will head to Japan for the Japan All-Star Series, a three-game series against No. 2 Japan which sets up a rematch of last year’s WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship Gold Medal Game. The U.S. and Japan will face off at Shellcom Sendai twice with the opener taking place on June 22 at 1 p.m. JST (11 p.m. June 21 CST) and following with a June 23 1 p.m. JST (11 p.m. June 22 CST) matchup. The series finale will be held at the Tokyo Dome on June 25 at 7 p.m. JST (5 a.m. CST). The excitement for softball’s return to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has been evident since the inception of the Japan All-Star Series. Over 31,000 fans attended the inaugural event at the Tokyo Dome in 2016 while 2017 saw 15,000 fans in the stands at Yokohama Stadium and 10,600 fans watched the rivalry contest at the Tokyo Dome in 2018.
The team returns to U.S. soil for the USA Softball International Cup, which will be held July 1-7 in Columbus, Ga. Held at South Commons Softball Complex, the Red, White and Blue will return to the city where Team USA claimed Gold in their Olympic debut. The team will break briefly before heading to Lafayette, La. July 20-24 and Houston, Texas July 25-30 for training and exhibition games against Scrap Yard Fast Pitch, an independent professional softball team. Information on exhibition games will be announced at a later date.
Next on the schedule of events for the U.S. is the Pan American Games, which are held in Lima, Peru August 4-11. Team USA has been nothing short of dominant in 10 appearances at the Pan American Games, compiling an all-time record of 93-4 with eight Gold Medal and two Silver Medal finishes.
The season concludes August 30-September 1 in Takasaki City, Japan at the 2019 Japan Cup where Team USA will compete alongside Japan, No. 6 Chinese Taipei and No. 15 Czech Republic.
Announced earlier this year was the coaching staff for the 2019 team, including Head Coach Ken Eriksen, in addition to Assistant Coaches Laura Berg (Corvallis, Ore./Head Coach at Oregon State), Howard Dobson (Baton Rouge, La./Assistant Coach at LSU) and Tairia Flowers (Tucson, Ariz./Head Coach at CSUN).
For more information on the National Teams Program, please visit USASoftball.com.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition through a network of Local Associations, which includes all 50 states and select metro associations. USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch. USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships. The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game.
As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.
About the World Baseball Softball Confederation
Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland — the Olympic Capital — the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the world governing body for baseball and softball. WBSC has 208 National Federation and Associate Members in 135 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania, which represent a united baseball/softball sports movement that encompasses over 65 million athletes and attracts approximately 150 million fans to stadiums worldwide annually.
The WBSC governs all international competitions involving official National Teams. The WBSC oversees the Premier12, World Baseball Classic, Baseball World Cups, Softball World Cups and Softball World Championships, as well as baseball and softball events at the Olympic Games.
For more information, visit www.wbsc.org, which is available six languages: English, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Traditional Chinese.