DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced the final 20-woman roster for the 2018 Women's National Team on Monday, following the completion of a week-long identification process in Cary, North Carolina, that included the Women's National Open and Women's National Team Trials.
The Women's National Team will compete in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup in Viera, Florida, from August 22-31. 2018 marks the first time the event will be held in the United States.
Team USA is a two-time world champion, having claimed back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2006, and will look to add a third World Cup gold medal in 2018. The team will play a series of exhibition games in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from August 16-20 before starting World Cup play.
"This year's selection was very difficult. All the players we saw through the Women's National Open and trials were incredible, but we feel good about the 20 women chosen for the 2018 team," 2018 Manager, Matt Weagle, said. "These athletes have the talent and the character to represent the U.S. well both on and off the field and we are excited to get to work with them on bringing a gold medal home on our soil."
In total, 14 USA Baseball Women's National Team alumni return to the roster, including 11 members of the squad that claimed gold at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
Tamara Holmes (Albany, Calif.), Meggie Meidlinger (Sterling, Va.), Marti Sementelli (Newton, Mass.) and Malaika Underwood (San Diego, Calif.) were all also members of the most recent world champion Women's National Team in 2006.
With the 2018 Women's National Team, Underwood has broken her own record for most appearances on USA Baseball national teams as this marks her ninth time suiting up for the red, white and blue. She has appeared on every Women's National Team since 2006. Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. (7) and Houston Astros Manager, A.J. Hinch (6), hold the next closest marks.
In addition to national team alumni, six athletes will make their debut on a USA Baseball national team in 2018, including Emily Tsujikawa (Redmond, Wash.), who participated in the 2017 Women's National Team Development Program, and former collegiate and professional baseball player Ila Borders (Los Angeles, Calif.).
Matt Weagle, who is in his fifth year coaching the Women's National Team, is making his managerial debut this year after serving as the team's pitching coach in 2014, 2015 and 2016. He was also the field coordinator for the Women's National Team Development Program in 2017.
Veronica Alvarez (pitching coach), who represented Team USA five times as a player, Cody Kauffman (assistant coach) and Ernie May (assistant coach) round out the 2018 staff. All three are making their national team coaching debuts in 2018.
Continue to follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the Women's National Team.
2018 Women's National Team Roster:
Name; Position; Hometown
Ila Borders; LHP; Los Angeles, Calif.
Samantha Cobb; OF/RHP; Garland, Texas
Michelle Cobb; IF/RHP; Wenatchee, Wash.
Shelby Estocado; OF/IF; Las Vegas, Nev.
Amanda Gianelloni; IF; Napoleonville, La.
Brittany Gomez; OF; New Braunfels, Texas
Jade Gortarez; IF/RHP; Riverside, Calif.
AJ Hamilton; C/OF; Tallahassee, Fla.
Tamara Holmes; OF; Albany, Calif.
Alex Hugo; IF/OF; Olathe, Kan.
Anna Kimbrell; C; Fort Mill, S.C.
Kylee Lahners; IF; Laguna Hills, Calif.
Ashton Lansdell; IF/RHP; Marietta, Ga.
Meggie Meidlinger; RHP; Sterling, Va.
Stacy Piagno; RHP; St. Augustine, Fla.
Brittany Schutte; RHP/IF; Gainesville, Fla.
Marti Sementelli; RHP; Newton, Mass.
Emily Tsujikawa; RHP/IF; Redmond, Wash.
Malaika Underwood; IF; San Diego, Calif.
Kelsie Whitmore; OF/RHP; Temecula, Calif.