OKLAHOMA CITY – The U.S. Women’s National Team (WNT) looks to round out its 2023 season as USA Softball announced today the 16-player roster that will represent Team USA at the Pan American Games held October 29-November 4 in Santiago, Chile. Selected from the WNT athlete pool, the Women’s National Team Selection Committee (WNTSC) formed the Pan American Games roster based on previous and ongoing evaluations at the collegiate and professional levels as well as USA Softball National Team events. While the athlete pool casts a large net over the best players across the country, each U.S. WNT roster is selected based on athlete availability.
“These 16 athletes have continued to dominate in all areas of the game – whether it being at USA Softball related evaluations, with their collegiate programs or on the professional level,” said WNT head coach, Heather Tarr. “It’s a versatile group with a tremendous amount of experience, spanning from Olympic medalists to World Champions – and even a few former Pan American Games gold medalists mixed in there.”
Representing the third and final WNT roster of the 2023 season, the Pan American Games squad is highlighted by one current student-athlete and 15 alums hailing from 11 division I universities with Washington tabbing three athletes followed by Alabama, LSU and UCLA with two apiece. Also highlighted with one athlete each is Arizona, Florida, Florida State, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Texas.
A roster beaming with veteran talent, each athlete will step into the Red, White and Blue after representing the U.S. on former rosters – including 10 athletes from the 2023 WBSC World Cup Group A event, one from the 2023 Japan All-Star Series roster, six from the 2022 World Games and five from the 2020 U.S. Olympic Softball Team. No stranger to the highly competitive multi-sport event, Haylie McCleney returns to the Pan American Games stage for the third time in her career while five other Team USA veterans return for their second stint.
“Our sport has been on the upscale of providing more athletes with the opportunity to extend their careers past college, which has truly played a vital role in the evaluation and selection of our Team USA rosters by widening the pool of talented athletes that can compete on the highest stage,” Tarr added. “It’s a competitive game with competitive athletes and it never gets old being able to compete alongside them while representing not only the sport of softball, but Team USA.”
After previously leading the WNT to a victorious finish at the WBSC World Cup Group A event, head coach Heather Tarr (Washington head coach) and assistant coaches Tony Baldwin (Georgia head coach), Cindy Ball-Malone (UCF head coach) and Tim Walton (Florida head coach) will look to add another gold medal to their resume as a Team USA coaching staff – a feat that would join their monumental gold medal victory at the 2022 World Games.
Concluding the 2023 season in Santiago, Chile, Team USA will enter the Pan American Games with sights set on sealing the season with a gold medal following a punched ticket to the WBSC World Cup and a hard-fought three-game series against Team Japan.
Since softball was first introduced into the Pan American Games in 1979, Team USA has proven dominance with nine gold medals – most recently being in 2019 – and two silver medals, compiling a 100-5 overall record in its 11 appearances.
To learn more about the U.S. Women’s National Team Program, visit USASoftball.com.