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US National Team Announced

CARY, N.C. — USA Baseball announced the Women’s National Team 20-player roster Thursday evening, which will compete in the upcoming 2010 International Baseball Federation (IBAF) World Cup. Nine players from the 2008 bronze-medal winning squad have been selected to represent the U.S. in Venezuela, Aug. 12-22.
Team USA is led by pitcher Marti Sementelli (Sherman Oaks, Calif.), who was named the Top Pitcher of the 2008 World Cup in Japan after collecting two wins and holding the opposition to two runs on eight hits. The right-hander recorded a team-high five strikeouts in 12 innings while posting a 1.50 ERA in tournament action. Also returning in is infielder Malaika Underwood (San Diego, Calif.), who will make her third appearance for the red, white and blue. Underwood, a member of the 2006 and 2008 teams was voted Top Second Baseman two years ago and was also honored for recording the most RBIs in the tournament with 12.

“Being a first-time coach in the women’s program, I was a bit apprehensive of what the overall talent level would be when I came to Cary,” said head coach Don Freeman. “I knew we would have very good players and I was extremely pleased with the depth we had. And because of that depth, it made it difficult to choose the national team because there were so many who were in contention. All the girls worked extremely hard and were very competitive, working through tiring circumstances such as heat and injuries. Their determination was incredible. Due to the fact that they were so competitive, I have high expectations that this team will put forth a very good effort the remainder of the practices here and then in Venezuela.

Catcher Veronica Alvarez (Miami, Fla.) makes her second appearance for the U.S. and batted .750 with nine hits and four RBIs in 2008. Also returning is infielder Sarah Gascon (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.), who hit .545 with six hits and four RBIs.

Pitching for Team USA in her second World Cup is Christin Sobeck (Alpena, Mich.), who hurled 1 1/3 shutout innings. Anna Kimbrell (Fort Mill, S.C.) pitched and played behind the plate for the U.S. in Japan, hitting .400 with two hits while pitching 6 1/3 innings. The right-hander struck out two while yielding two earned runs on six hits for a 2.84 ERA.

Also selected to the Women’s Team, was outfielder Lilly Jacobson (Reno, Nev.), a 2008 team member, who will be unable to travel to the World Cup due to injury.

Making their first appearances in IBAF World Cup action are three-time All-Americans, Laura Espinoza-Watson (Tucson, Ariz.) and Jenny Dalton-Hill (Lexington, Ky.). The duo played softball for the University of Arizona, where Dalton-Hill won three national titles while Espinoza-Watson collected two.

“I really think this team will be a well-rounded team,” said Freeman. “We have some outstanding defensive players. We have a talented assortment of power hitters and table-setters and I feel we will be as good as anybody on the mound. Putting those ingredients together, I think we can put together a sound team on the field and we’re going to be very difficult to beat.”

The roster was assembled following a four-day trials period that included three intra-squad games and practices at the USA Baseball National Training Complex (NTC). The U.S. is scheduled to face Australia’s “A” and “B” teams in a series of games at the NTC before traveling to Venezuela Tuesday, Aug. 10.

The Women’s National Team roster is as follows (name, position, hometown):

Veronica Alvarez, C/IF, Miami, Fla.
Karen Costes, OF/IF, Glastonbury, Conn.
Jenny Dalton-Hill, IF, Lexington, Ky.
Laura Espinoza-Watson, IF, Tucson, Ariz.
Sarah Gascon, IF/OF, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
Tara Harbert, OF, Denver, Colo.
Alex Hebert, C/IF, Webster, N.Y.
Tamara Holmes, OF, Oakland, Calif.
Nicki Holt, OF, Camarillo, Calif.
Lindsay Horwitz, RHP, Gurnee, Ill.
*Lilly Jacobson, OF, Reno, Nev.
Anna Kimbrell, C/RHP, Fort Mill, S.C.
Jenna Marston, IF /RHP, St. Louis, Mo.
Wynne McCann, RHP/ IF, Gilbertsville, Pa.
Clarisa Navarro, IF/RHP, La Joya, Texas
Ghazaleh Sailors, IF /RHP, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Marti Sementelli, RHP, Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Loren Smith, RHP, Tampa, Fla.
Christin Sobeck, RHP, Alpena, Mich.
Ashley Sujkowski, RHP/OF, Rossford, Ohio
Malaika Underwood, IF, San Diego, Calif.
*unable to travel due to injury

Don Freeman, Manager, Battle Ground, Wash.
Tim O’Brien, Pitching Coach, Columbia, Md.
Sandra Wente, Assistant Coach, Coolidge, Ariz.
Ed Kurakazu, Assistant Coach, Phoenix, Ariz.

Kristi Hall, Athletic Trainer, Raleigh, N.C.
Fumi Kimura, Press Officer, Irvine, Calif.
Ashley Bratcher, Director Women’s National Team, Raleigh, N.C.

USA Women’s National Team website

Released : August 5, 2010