USA BASEBALL NEWS

WNT

Stars and Stripes Drop First Games Against Canada Maple and Canada Leaf

August 10, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Kelsie Whitmore went 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored for the Stars in a 13-7 loss to Canada Maple and Samantha Cobb went 2-for-3 with a RBI for the Stripes as they fell to Canada Leaf 5-4 in the doubleheader that kicked off the 2017 USA Baseball Women's National Team Development Program (NTDP) on Wednesday.

In the first game of the day, the Stars jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the second inning courtesy of a bases-loaded wild pitch and a two-RBI single by Kelsie Whitmore (Temecula, Calif.).

Whitmore once again led the way as the Stars doubled their lead in the fourth inning. Her RBI single got the scoring starting before a bases-loaded walk and a RBI groundout pushed the lead to 6-0.

Sementelli posted a dominant 3.0 innings of work as the starter for the Stars, allowing just two hits and no runs while striking out two.

The Stars wouldn't be able to hold onto their lead though as Canada Maple broke out for nine runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 9-6 lead that they wouldn't relinquish. The Stars added one more run in the sixth but Canada Maple piled on four more to secure the 13-7 victory.

The day's afternoon game between the Stripes and Canada Maple was also highlighted by strong starting pitching. Meggie Meidlinger started on the bump for the Stripes and only gave up one run on three hits in her 3.0 innings.

AJ Hamilton stole home in the bottom of the first to give the Stripes their own early lead before Canada Leaf tied it up in the third and took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth. The Stripes answered in the bottom half with a RBI triple by Samantha Cobb that brought in Alana Collins and tied the game 2-2.

After a three-run home run by Canada Leaf in the top of the sixth inning broke the tie and put the Stripes down 5-2, they started a rally with a Maycen Gibbs RBI single in the bottom of the sixth and an error in the bottom of the seventh that allowed a run to score to pull the Stripes within one. That wouldn't be enough though as the Stripes would fall 5-4.

The Stars ended the game with seven runs on 11 hits and two errors while the Stripes finished with four runs on six hits and two errors.

The third game of the week-long program will be between the full 2017 USA Baseball Women's NTDP team against Canada's full team on Thursday, August 10, at 4 p.m. ET at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Washington, D.C.

The 2017 Women's NTDP is sanctioned by the World Baseball Softball Confederation.

 

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WNT

WNTDP: Stars and Stripes Win Final Games

August 14, 2017
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
USA Stripes 4 0 2 5 0 0 0 11 15 3
Canada Maple 2 2 0 0 0 0 1 5 7 2
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
USA Stars 3 0 3 0 0 3 0 9 8 2
Canada Leaf 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 3 6 3

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Stars and Stripes finished the 2017 USA Baseball Women's National Team Development Program with a sweep of Sunday's doubleheader against Canada Leaf and Canada Maple at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Washington, D.C.

The Stripes started things off with a big 11-5 defeat of Canada Maple in the first game of the day.

Leading the way for the Stripes, Megan Baltzell went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI and Samantha Cobb also tallied two RBI and two runs scored as she went 3-for-5.

The squad got off to a fast start when it put up four runs in the top of the first inning to take an early lead. Canada Maple tied it up with runs in the bottom of the first and second innings but the Stripes answered right back.

They took a two run lead in the top of the third before pushing five across the plate to take a seven run lead and put the game away.

The Stripes finished the game with 11 runs on 15 hits while Canada Maple collected just seven hits and five runs.

In the second game of the day, the Stars picked up right where the Stripes left off. They opened the scoring, taking a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning and never looked back.

Jade Gortarez went 2-for-4 with a RBI and a walk to set the pace offensively for the Stars and Olivia Bricker led the way on defensive with 2.0 scoreless, two-hit innings as the Stars starter.

Canada would tally two runs in the third and one more in the fifth but the Stars recorded two more three run innings in the third and sixth to put the game out of reach and secure the 9-3 victory.

Sunday's doubleheader marked the end of the 2017 Women's NTDP.

The 30 players invited to the 2017 Women's NTDP are international age-eligible for the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup (born on or before December 31, 2002). Identification events for the 2018 Women's National Team will begin with the Women's National Open next spring.

The 2017 Women's NTDP is sanctioned by the WBSC.

 

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WNT

WNTDP: Stars and Stripes, Canada Finish Game Five in a Tie

August 12, 2017
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Canada 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 4 13 2
Stars and Stripes 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 4 6 2

Washington, D.C. - In game five of the 2017 USA Baseball Women's National Team Development Program, Michelle Cobb went 2-for-4 with two RBI as the Stars and Stripes tied with Canada 4-4 at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Washington D.C.

Canada brought in the first run of the game and took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second but it wouldn't last long. The Stars and Stripes answered in the bottom of the third with a run of their own before taking a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth.

A walk drawn by Amanda Gianelloni and a Jade Gortarez single put two runners in scoring position with one out for Cobb, who knocked a two-RBI single to left field that gave the Stars and Stripes its first lead.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Stars and Stripes would add one more run to take a 4-1 lead but Canada pushed across two runs of its own in the sixth to make it a one run game.

A string of singles by Canada in the top of the eighth then closed the gap, tying the game up 4-4. Neither the Stars and Stripes, nor Canada were able to get anything going after that, ending the game in a tie.

Marti Sementelli started on the bump for the Stars and Stripes on Saturday afternoon and pitched a strong 4.0 innings. She gave up just one run on four hits in the outing.

The Stars and Stripes finished the game with four runs on six hits, while Canada tallied 13 hits and four runs. Each team had two errors.

The 2017 Women's NTDP wraps on Sunday with a split squad doubleheader with the USA Stripes taking on Canada Maple at 11 a.m. ET and the USA Stars going head to head with Canada Leaf at 4 p.m. ET at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Washington, D.C.

The 2017 Women's NTDP is sanctioned by the World Baseball Softball Confederation.

 

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WNT

Stars and Stripes Drop Weather-Shortened Game Against Canada

August 12, 2017
  1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Canada 1 1 2 4 1 3 12 14 3
Stars and Stripes 1 0 0 4 0 0 5 8 0
Win: Anna-Sophie Lavallee Loss: Denver Bryant | Box Score | Play-by-Play

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Samantha Cobb went 2-for-4 and Brynn Baca went 1-for-2 with a run scored and three RBI as the Stars and Stripes dropped Friday's 2017 USA Baseball Women's National Team Development Program (NTDP) game against Canada by a score of 12-5 after it was called due to lightning in the seventh inning at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Washington, D.C.

Canada jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first but the Stars and Stripes were quick to answer as Amanda Gianelloni scored on Michelle Cobb's fielder's choice to tie it 1-1 in the bottom half.

After Canada broke the tie, putting up runs in the second, third and fourth innings to take a 8-1 lead, the Stars and Stripes pushed four across the plate to pull within three in the bottom of the fourth.

They strung together two singles and a walk to load the bases with no outs for Brynn Baca, who laced a triple down the right field line to clear the bases and then followed that by scoring on a wild pitch to cut Canada's lead to 8-5.

There wasn't enough time to complete the comeback for the Stars and Stripes though as Canada added four more runs in the fifth and sixth innings and lightning caused the game to be called after the sixth inning.

The Stars and Stripes finished the game with five runs on eight hits while Canada had 14 hits, 12 runs and three errors.

The 2017 Women's NTDP is sanctioned by the World Baseball Softball Confederation.

 

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WNT

WNTDP: Stars and Stripes Take Down Canada in NTDP Game 3

August 11, 2017
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Stars and Stripes 0 0 1 3 2 1 0 0 1 8 12 1
Canada 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 4 10 0
Win: Thea Hanscom Loss: Sarah Moir | Box Score | Play-by-Play

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Jade Gortarez went 4-for-6 with four RBI as the Stars and Stripes combined to defeat Canada in the first game between the two full squads in the 2017 USA Baseball Women's National Team Development Program at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Washington, D.C.

Canada took an early 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third inning but it wouldn't last long as the Stars and Stripes scored in three straight innings to put the game away.

Samantha Cobb, who finished the game 1-for-2 with two runs scored and three walks, loaded the bases for the Stars and Stripes with a single before Gortarez ripped a RBI single through the left side to tie the game 2-2. Then a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch followed by a bases-loaded walk gave the Stars and Stripes a 3-2 lead.

The Stars and Stripes added to their lead in each of the next two innings with two runs in the fifth on a RBI single from Shelby Estocado and a RBI groundout by Gortarez and one more in the sixth thanks to a sac fly by Megan Baltzell to jump ahead 7-2.

Canada pulled within three with a two-run eight inning but the Stars and Stripes tacked on one more run in the top of the ninth before Brandee Rains closed it out on the mound to secure the 8-4 victory.

Kelsie Whitmore started on the bump for the Stars and Stripes and posted a solid 3.0 innings of work, allowing just four hits. Thea Hanscom and Caitlyn Naginey then followed that with four shutout innings, giving up just three hits collectively without allowing a run.

In addition to the eight runs the Stars and Stripes posted, the team also finished with 12 hits while Canada ended the game with four runs on 10 hits.

The 2017 Women's NTDP is sanctioned by the World Baseball Softball Confederation.

 

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WNT

USA Baseball Announces 2017 Women's National Team Development Program Roster

August 3, 2017

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced the roster for the 2017 Women's National Team Development Program (NTDP) on Friday. The roster features 30 athletes representing 11 different states, and introduces 17 new players to the USA Baseball Women's National Team program. The 2017 NTDP is being hosted jointly with Baseball Canada and will take place August 6-14 at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Washington, D.C.

The USA Baseball Women's National Team Development Program is offered in years a women's international baseball competition is not presented and it provides athletes an opportunity to connect with USA Baseball staff to better prepare for future national team experiences. The program includes skill development sessions, off-field education seminars, exhibition games and exposure to the Women's National Team staff and task force.

More than half of the athletes on the roster will be making their USA Baseball debut at the 2017 Women's NTDP, including four athletes who were identified from the inaugural Trailblazer Series, a first-of-its-kind girls baseball tournament presented by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball that took place in April at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, California.

Maycen Gibbs (Folsom, Calif.) is one of two newcomers to the women's program who have participated in a USA Baseball Women's Development Camp. She was also one of two female players on team BPA that participated at the 2017 USA Baseball 14U National Team Championships in Arizona.

In addition, of the 17 new members of the Women's National Team program, seven have participated in the USA Baseball Women's National Open, three have participated in the USA Baseball National Team Identification Series and five have previously earned invitations to past Women's National Team Trials.

"We are excited to get a look at some of the best young talent in the country and start developing these new players for future national team opportunities," said Senior Director of Baseball Operations Ashley Bratcher. "The NTDP offers a great chance for young players to grow their game under the leadership of experienced USA Baseball coaches and alumni.

"The hands-on experience in a high-level, national team environment these players will receive and facing elite-level competition is invaluable as we start to look forward to naming the 2018 Women's National Team and beyond," Bratcher added.

Thirteen alumni of the 2016 Women's National Team that represented the U.S. at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup are also on the roster. Of those 13, seven players participated on the gold medal-winning Team USA in the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.

In addition, six players on the 2017 roster are alumni of multiple Women's National Teams, including seven-time alum Anna Kimbrell, six-time alum Marti Sementelli and five-time alums Michelle and Samantha Cobb.

Four-time Women's National Team Pitching Coach Matt Weagle will serve as manager for the 2017 Women's NTDP. Under his direction, teams held a 2.07 and 2.16 ERA in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and a 1.29 ERA in 2016. Currently the pitching coach at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Weagle pitched at Franklin Pierce University from 2000 - 2003 and was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2003 MLB Amateur Draft.

Joining Weagle on staff will be pitching coaches Matt Mayo and Ila Borders and assistant coaches Donna Mills, Cody Kauffman, Curtis Owen, Ernie May and Malaika Underwood. Mayo, Owen and May have previously served as coaches at Women's National Team Trials and the Women's National Open.

As an eight-time alum of the Women's National Team, Underwood has participated on more national teams than any other USA Baseball alumni, including the gold medal-winning 2006 and 2015 Women's National Teams. Mills is also an alum of the Women's National Team, having suited up for the world champion Women's National Teams in 2004 and 2006, as well as the 2008 squad. The 2017 Women's NTDP will mark the first time Underwood and Mills have coached for USA Baseball.

Kauffman and Borders will also make their USA Baseball coaching debuts at the 2017 Women's NTDP.

In addition to its joint on-field programming, USA Baseball and Baseball Canada will cooperatively host a girl's baseball clinic on Saturday, August 12, from 9-11:30 a.m. The clinic will be hosted by DC Girls Baseball and will be open to girls age seven to 16. Details on the clinic and participant registration can be found at DCGirlsBaseball.com/USACanada.

2017 marks the first time that USA Baseball has partnered with an international national governing body in a cooperative effort to prepare and develop future talent for national team consideration.

The 2017 Women's NTDP is sanctioned by the WBSC. For more information on the Women's National Team and the National Team Development Program, follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter.

The 2017 Women's National Team Development Program roster is as follows:

Name; Position; Hometown:
Brynn Baca; C/IF; Round Rock, Texas
*Megan Baltzell; UT/LHP; Stafford, Va.
Olivia Bricker; LHP/OF; Batavia, Ohio
Denver Bryant; IF/RHP; Albany, Ga.
Haley Chandler; IF/OF; Wakefield, Mass.
*^Michelle Cobb; IF/RHP; Wenatchee, Wash.
*^Samantha Cobb; OF/RHP; Garland, Texas
Alana Collins; IF; Greenville, Ga.
Trinity Curtis; RHP/IF; Oakhurst, Calif.
*Shelby Estocado; IF/OF; Las Vegas, Nev.
Emma Froemke; IF/RHP; Thousand Oaks, Calif.
*Alex Fulmer; OF/RHP; Little Mountain, S.C.
*Amanda Gianelloni; IF; Napoleonville, La.
Maycen Gibbs; C/OF; Folsom, Calif.
*^Jade Gortarez; IF/RHP; Riverside, Calif.
Gabbie Haas; IF/C; West Palm Beach, Fla.
*AJ Hamilton; C/OF; Tallahassee, Fla.
Thea Hanscom; RHP/IF; Hadley, Mass.
Ashli Holland; IF; Arvada, Colo.
*Amalia Hopson; UT/RHP; Sequim, Wash.
*^Anna Kimbrell; C; Fort Mill, S.C.
*^Meggie Meidlinger; RHP/IF; Sterling, Va.
Logan Moreland; IF; Woodland, Calif.
Caitlyn Naginey; RHP/IF; Windermere, Fla.
Brandee Rains; RHP/IF; Lake Charles, La.
Montserrat Sandoval; RHP/IF; San Juan Bautista, Calif.
*^Marti Sementelli; RHP; Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Homa Shafii; C/OF; Monterey, Calif.
Emily Tsujikawa; RHP; Redmond, Wash.
*^Kelsie Whitmore; OF/RHP; Temecula, Calif.

*Denotes Women's National Team alumni
^Denotes Women's National Team Development Program alumni

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WNT

USA Baseball to Host Joint Women's National Team Development Program with Baseball Canada

July 12, 2017

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced on Thursday it will jointly host a Women's National Team Development Program (NTDP) with Baseball Canada in 2017. The event will take place from August 6-14 at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Washington, D.C.

In addition to its joint on-field programming, USA Baseball and Baseball Canada will cooperatively host a girl's baseball clinic on Saturday, August 12, from 9-11:30 a.m. The clinic will be hosted by DC Girls Baseball and will be open to girls age seven to 16. Details on the clinic and participant registration can be found at DCGirlsBaseball.com/USACanada.

This is the first time USA Baseball has partnered with an international national governing body in a cooperative effort to prepare and develop future national team members.

"The USA Baseball Women's National Team Development Program is crucial to the continued growth and development of our Women's National Team," said Ashley Bratcher, Senior Director of Baseball Operations at USA Baseball. "We are eager to provide this opportunity for our future national team members to train in preparation for the World Baseball Softball Confederation Women's World Cup in 2018.

"Partnering with Baseball Canada for this developmental event reinforces our commitment to the proliferation of the women's game on a global scale," continued Bratcher. "The benefits of exposing our players to other elite international athletes cannot be understated and we look forward to getting on the field with a historically talented Team Canada."

The USA Baseball Women's National Team Development Program is offered in years a women's international baseball competition is not presented and it provides athletes an opportunity to connect with USA Baseball staff to better prepare for future national team experiences. The program includes skill development sessions, off-field education seminars, exhibition games and exposure to the Women's National Team staff and task force.

"Baseball Canada is excited for the opportunity to partner with USA Baseball on an event that will assist in the growth and development of our National Team program," said André Lachance, Canada's Women's National Team Manager. "It is imperative in non-World Cup years to provide our athletes with a competitive environment that will foster future national team success. We feel that we are achieving this against a quality opponent like the United States."

Four-time Women's National Team Pitching Coach Matt Weagle will serve as the Field Coordinator for the 2017 USA Baseball Women's NTDP. Under his direction, teams held a 2.07 and 2.16 ERA in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and a 1.29 ERA in 2016. Currently the pitching coach at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Weagle pitched at Franklin Pierce University from 2000 - 2003 and was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2003 MLB Amateur Draft.

USA Baseball will invite 30 identified athletes to participate in the 2017 Women's NTDP that will be international age-eligible for the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup (born on or before December 31, 2002). Identification events for the 2018 Women's National Team will begin with the Women's National Open next spring.

The 2017 Women's NTDP is sanctioned by the WBSC. For more information on the Women's National Team and the National Team Development Program, follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter.

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Girls From Across The United States And Canada To Play In The Inaugural 'Trailblazer Series' Baseball Tournament

April 6, 2017

Major League Baseball and USA Baseball today announced the launch of the inaugural 'Trailblazer Series,' a first-of-its-kind girls baseball tournament hosted in conjunction with Jackie Robinson Day. Approximately 100 girls, ages 16 and under, representing twenty states across the country as well as Washington D.C. and Canada, will participate in the three-day tournament held in the greater Los Angeles-area from Thursday, April 13th through Saturday, April 15th.

The girls playing in the Trailblazer Series will be divided into two age divisions, 16U & 12U, and have been placed onto teams by random selection. They will be coached by some of the nation's top female baseball coaches and players, including those from USA Baseball's Women's National Team. Additional activities for Trailblazer Series participants will include non-game instruction from the coaches, appearances by special guests connected to baseball, and attending Jackie Robinson Day celebrations at Dodger Stadium on April 15th. The entire event is completely expense-free for participants.    

In recognition of the legacy of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), the teams will be named for notable alumnae from the all-women's league that lasted from 1943 through 1954. The teams, as well as the individual alumna each is named after, will be as follows:

12U Division
Team Green
(Dottie Green)
Team Winter (Joanne Winter)
Team Dancer (Faye Dancer)
Team Sams (Doris "Sammye" Sams)

16U Division
Team Kamenshek
(Dorothy "Dottie" Kamenshek)
Team Paire (Pepper Paire)
Team Burkovich (Shirley Burkovich)
Team Blair (Maybelle Blair)

Trailblazer Series coaches feature some of the top names of coaches and players in women's baseball. The coaches, who are broken down by their Trailblazer Series teams, are as follows:

Team Dancer
Veronica Alvarez (Miami, Fla.) - Member of the USA Baseball Women's National Team (Gold Medal Winners, 2015 Pan American Games)
Justine Siegal (Los Angeles, Calif.) - Founder of the all-girls "Baseball For All" youth baseball organization.

Team Sams
Codi Dudley (Alexandria, Va.) - Coach, DC Thunder Women's Baseball Team of the Eastern Women's Baseball Conference
Jenna Marston (Lexington, Ky.) - Member of the USA Baseball Women's National Team (Gold Medal Winners, 2015 Pan American Games)

Team Green
Donna Mills (Boston, Mass.) - Member of the USA Baseball Women's National Team (Gold Medal Winners, 2004 & 2006 Women's Baseball World Cup)
Stacy Piagno (St. Augustine, Fla.) - P/1B/2B for the Independent League's Sonoma Stompers; Member of the USA Baseball Women's National Team (Gold Medal Winners, 2015 Pan American Games)

Team Winter
Tamara Holmes (Oakland, Calif.) - USA Baseball Sportswoman of the Year; Member of the USA Baseball Women's National Team (Gold Medal Winners, 2006 Women's Baseball World Cup; Gold Medal Winners, 2015 Pan American Games)
Marti Sementelli (Boston, Mass.) - Member of the USA Baseball Women's National Team (Gold Medal Winners, 2015 Pan American Games)

Team Kamenshek
Ila Borders (Portland, Ore.)
- Firefighter, Cornelius Fire Department (Cornelius, OR); former collegiate and independent professional baseball player; first woman pitcher to start a men's NCAA or NAIA college baseball game; first woman to receive a baseball scholarship to play men's college baseball; first women to earn a win in men's college baseball;
Anna Kimbrell (Birmingham, Ala.) - Member of the USA Baseball Women's National Team (Gold Medal Winners, 2015 Pan American Games)

Team Paire
A.J. Hamilton (Statesboro, Ga.) - Member of the 2016 USA Baseball Women's National Team; former catcher, Georgia Southern University Softball
Malaika Underwood (Atlanta, Ga.) - Member of the USA Baseball Women's National Team (Gold Medal Winners, 2006 Women's Baseball World Cup; Gold Medal Winners, 2015 Pan American Games)

Team Burkovich
Meggie Meidlinger (Atlanta, Ga.) - Member of the USA Baseball Women's National Team (Gold Medal Winners, 2006 Women's Baseball World Cup)
Bridget Venturi Veenema (Chicago, Ill.) - Member of the USA Baseball Women's National Team (Gold Medal Winners, 2004 & 2006 Women's Baseball World Cup)

Team Blair
Alex Oglesby (San Francisco, Calif.) - Coach, Baseball For All; Member of the USA Baseball Women's National Team (Gold Medal Winners, 2004 Women's Baseball World Cup)
Robin Wallace (Boston, Mass.) - Scout, MLB Scouting Bureau; Member of the USA Baseball Women's National Team (Gold Medal Winners, 2004 Women's Baseball World Cup)

Several notable attendees will participate in the Trailblazer Series, including alumnae from the AAGPBL. Shirley "Hustle" Burkovich, who played from 1949 to 1951, and Maybelle "Mae" Blair, who played in 1948, will throw out first pitches during the event. Additionally, Sharon Robinson (daughter of Jackie Robinson and MLB Educational Programming Consultant), Jennie Finch (Olympic Gold Medalist; MLB Youth Softball Ambassador), Kim Ng (Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations, MLB), Billy Bean (Former Major Leaguer; Vice President & Special Assistant to the Commissioner, MLB), Renée Tirado (Vice President, Talent Acquisition and Diversity & Inclusion, MLB) and Ashley Bratcher (Senior Director, Baseball Operations, USA Baseball), all will attend various components of the event.

In addition to the weekend's celebration of women in baseball, USA Baseball's National Member Organizations, which sanction leagues across the country and around the world, reaffirmed their commitment to providing girls opportunities to participate in their baseball leagues. Leaders at AABC, American Legion, Babe Ruth League, Dixie Boys and Majors, Dixie Youth, Little League International, NABF, NFHS, PONY, USSSA and MLB's Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program are all working toward growing the opportunities afforded to girls in the game.

 "In memory of Jackie Robinson, Major League Baseball is committed to making our sport accessible and inclusive for all those who want to play, coach or participate," said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. "MLB and USA Baseball have listened to the growing demand for girls' and women's baseball by launching this unprecedented event. We will be proud to do so on the most meaningful date on our calendar, Jackie Robinson Day, at our Youth Academy in Compton. It is our honor to support trailblazing young women who will be outstanding representatives of their communities."

"The establishment of the Trailblazer Series marks an exciting next chapter in the history of women's baseball," said Paul Seiler, Executive Director and CEO of USA Baseball. "We're proud to partner with Major League Baseball on yet another impactful amateur initiative, one that aligns with and supports our Women's National Team programming which has represented our country in the Women's World Cup since its inaugural event in 2004."

The Trailblazer Series is the latest joint effort between Major League Baseball and USA Baseball, which centralize around sports development, player health and educational resources. The most notable shared initiatives include the 'PLAY BALL' initiative, Pitch Smart and Amateur Development Camps (e.g., Breakthrough Series, DREAM Series and Elite Development Invitational). More information on the Trailblazer Series can be found at MLB.com/trailblazerseries.

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2017 Trailblazer Series

February 6, 2017

Trailblazer Series

USA Baseball and Major League Baseball are excited to launch a new baseball tournament for girls in the greater Los Angeles area built around Jackie Robinson Day. Approximately 100 girls will have an unprecedented opportunity to participate in the inaugural Trailblazer Series. The event will take place over four days, will include competitive play, instruction, community outreach and a visit with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.

Trailblazer Series Player Application

The event will include two divisions: 16U and 12U. Girls will have the opportunity to be coached and instructed by some of the nation's top female baseball players, including Team USA alumni. Athletes are asked to apply to participate and will be notified in the coming weeks upon confirmation of their entry in the program.

The event is now full and no longer accepting applications.

Trailblazer Series info:

  • To be held April 13-16 at Major League Baseball's Youth Academy in Compton, California
  • Trailblazer Series participants' expenses to be covered.
  • Participants will have the opportunity to learn from some of the current and former Women's National Team players and select guests and dignitaries.

2017 Trailblazer Series schedule*:

Thursday, April 13

  • All players arrive and register: 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Friday, April 14

  • Games and instruction: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Saturday, April 15

  • Games: 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Participants attend Jackie Robinson Day festivities at Dodger Stadium (Game time: 6:10 p.m.)

Sunday, April 16

  • Departures: 6 a.m.-12 p.m.

*Trailblazer Series times are subject to change.

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14U NTDP
WNT
18U
CNT

2016 USA Baseball Award Winners Announced

December 20, 2016

DURHAM, N.C. -- USA Baseball announced the recipients of its annual organizational awards on Tuesday, recognizing the top athletes, coaches and performances from the 2016 USA Baseball national teams. Collegiate National Team member Ricky Tyler Thomas was named the Richard W. "Dick" Case Award winner, given annually to USA Baseball's top player in honor of the organization's founding Executive Director and CEO. Thomas is the 11th Collegiate National Team member to earn athlete of the year honors.

USA Baseball also honored the Collegiate National Team with the Team of the Year award and named its manager, George Horton, the Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year. 

Women's National Team member Tamara Holmes was named the USA Baseball Sportswoman of the Year and 18U National Team pitcher Hans Crouse earned the International Performance of the Year award after his stellar outing in the gold medal game of the COPABE Pan Am "AAA" Championships.

"USA Baseball is proud to honor these outstanding performances from 2016," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball's Executive Director/CEO. "In addition to representing their respective teams at an exceptional level, they were outstanding global ambassadors for the game of baseball and represented our organization and our country with class and dignity on the world stage."

In partnership with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Baseball also named Glenn Cecchini (18U National Team) and Skip Schumaker (14U National Team Development Program) the Developmental and Volunteer Coach of the Year award recipients, respectively.

Ricky Tyler Thomas (Fresno State) was given the Richard W. "Dick" Case Award following his performance as a relief pitcher with the 2016 Collegiate National Team. Thomas entered the rubber match of the five-game international friendship series against Cuba with the scored tied 1-1 in the fourth inning and allowed just two hits over the final 5.1 innings; earning the series-clinching win for the red, white and blue. 

The lefty finished the summer tour with a miniscule 0.95 ERA, was third on the team in innings pitched (19) and was tied for the team-lead with 21 strikeouts.

The Collegiate National Team was named USA Baseball's Team of the Year after winning the first ever series on Cuban soil behind Thomas' pitching and Keston Hiura's (UC Irvine) heroics. Hiura hit a pinch-hit solo home run in in the eighth inning to give the U.S. a 2-1 win in game five of the series on July 27 in Pinar del Río, Cuba. 2016 was the first time a visiting team has ever won the international friendship series between Cuba and the U.S. The team traveled over 20,000 miles during the course of its summer tour, participating in friendship series in Chinese Taipei, Japan and Cuba. The team finished with an 11-7-1 record and its success led to its manager, George Horton (Oregon), being named the USA Baseball Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year. 

"George Horton is very deserving of being named the USA Baseball Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year," said Eric Campbell, USA Baseball's General Manager of National Teams. "His ability to handle the unique challenges of the summer tour while creating positive developmental and personal interactions with the players was first-class; and leading that group of young men to a series win in Cuba for the first time in our history was remarkable."

Horton will be honored at the Golden Spikes Award and Rod Dedeaux Award Dinner, which is expected to be held June 29 at the Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles.

Tamara Holmes of the Women's National Team was named the Sportswoman of the Year for the second time in her career (2012) following her outstanding performance at the 2016 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's World Cup in Gijang, South Korea, where she was crowned the batting champion and named to the All-World team. A seven-time USA Baseball alum, Holmes finished the tournament with a .765 batting average, starting in all seven games of the tournament. She slugged 1.235 with three doubles, one triple and a home run for the red, white and blue, and finished with 13 RBIs. Holmes retired from international baseball following the tournament.  

"Tamara has been a mainstay with the Women's National Team for years and the impact she has had on our program has been tremendous," said Ashley Bratcher, Senior Director of Baseball Operations. "We are thankful for her contributions to our organization and are thrilled for her to be honored with this award after her outstanding performance at the Women's Baseball World Cup." 

USA Baseball's International Performance of the Year belongs to 18U National Team pitcher Hans Crouse (Dana Hills High School; Dana Point, Calif.) following his dominance in the gold medal game of the 2016 COPABE Pan Am "AAA" Championships in Monterrey, Mexico. Crouse was given the start on the mound in the championship game against the Cuban National Team and did not disappoint. Crouse pitched 4.2 innings of perfect baseball before surrendering a walk and a hit in the fifth inning. He finished the game with 11 strikeouts in seven innings of one-hit baseball and led the 18U National Team to its sixth consecutive gold medal in international competition.

18U National Team Manager Glenn Cecchini (Barbe High School; Lake Charles, La.) was named the Developmental Coach of the Year after leading the 18U team to a gold medal for the second straight summer. Cecchini led his team to a 7-1 record in the COPABE Pan Am "AAA" Championships, defeating Cuba, 7-1, in the gold medal game. Under his tutelage the team outscored its opponents 68-14 and finished the tournament hitting .341 with 32 extra-base hits. The team also maintained a 1.14 ERA and held its opponents to a .178 batting average.

Skip Schumaker was named the USA Baseball Volunteer Coach of the Year after serving as the assistant coach for the Stripes team at the 14U National Team Development Program (NTDP). Schumaker, a USA Baseball alum (2006 USA Baseball Olympic Qualifying team) and two-time World Series champion, provided inspired and unrivaled expertise to the participants. In addition to his high-level instruction with the NTDP program, he also produced weekly video content for the Sport Development department at USA Baseball, providing athletes in depth analysis of common baseball plays in order to elevate their overall baseball acumen. 

The USOC annually honors one Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year based on nominations from its National Governing Bodies. USA Baseball's Dick Case Player of the Year, Sportswoman of the Year and Team of the Year honorees also serve as the organization's nominees in their respective categories with the USOC.

USA Baseball Richard W. "Dick" Case Award: Ricky Tyler Thomas (Fresno State)
USA Baseball Team of the Year: 2016 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team
USA Baseball Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year: George Horton (Oregon)
USA Baseball Sportswoman of the Year: Tamara Holmes
USA Baseball International Performance of the Year: Hans Crouse (Dana Hill High School)
USA Baseball Developmental Coach of the Year: Glenn Cecchini (Barbe High School)
USA Baseball Volunteer Coach of the Year: Skip Schumaker

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