OKLAHOMA CITY — Selected to the U-18 Women’s National Team (WNT) program, USA Softball announced today the athletes that will represent the U.S. on the international stage after advancing through the USA Softball High Performance Program (HPP) National Selection Event held in November 2023. A total of 16 athletes will compete for Team USA at the WBSC U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup Group Stage event in Dallas, Texas slated for August 29 – September 2. The first of its kind to be identified from the HPP National Selection Event, the U-18 WNT roster was chosen by the USA Softball Junior Women’s National Selection Committee (JWNTSC).
“We are extremely thrilled to see the talent that this roster will bring to the international stage,” said CEO of USA Softball, Craig Cress. “Through the High Performance Program, we were able to identify some of the nation’s best young athletes and help them achieve the dream of representing Team USA. We are excited to see them come together on the field and are confident that they will get the job done.”
Dubbed the “Pipeline to the WNT program,” the selected athletes worked their way through identifiers on the local and national level to represent the Red, White and Blue — hailing from 11 different states and eight USA Softball regions. Texas (Region 5) leads the pack with five athletes while Arizona (Region 10) is highlighted by two, followed by California (Region 10), Florida (Region 3), Kentucky (Region 6), Louisiana (Region 4), Oklahoma (Region 5), Oregon (Region 9), Pennsylvania (Region 1), Tennessee (Region 3) and Wisconsin (Region 8) each represented by one athlete a piece.
The 16-player roster is set to take on the international competition in Dallas, Texas for the WBSC U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup Group Stage event – the first in its history to be played under the new two-stage format where the Group Stage and the Finals will be held in consecutive years. As hosts of a WBSC U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup Group Stage event, world-ranked No. 1 Team USA will receive an automatic bid in its respective group event. At the helm of the U-18 WNT will be head coach Kyla Holas who previously guided the U-15 WNT to three gold medals during the 2023 season, including a 7-1 campaign at the WBSC U-15 Women’s Softball World Cup that put the Eagles atop the podium.
The roster marks the second group of athletes to advance through the HPP program, with the previously selected 2023 U-15 WNT being the first – showcasing the opportunity of being involved in the Pipeline to the Women’s National Team Program. The HPP was created in 2020 with the goal of identifying a pool of athletes to train, compete and represent USA Softball in domestic and international competition. The program focuses on providing an equal opportunity for players to showcase their talent while growing the game of softball in the United States. To learn more about the HPP or to get involved, visit USASoftball.com.
Additional information on the upcoming WBSC U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup Group Stage event will be announced at a later date.