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Breaking Down USA Softball Olympic Trials

(Graphic Courtesy of USA Softball)

The USA Softball Olympic Trials began Wednesday morning in Oklahoma City and will end on Sunday, Oct. 6. There are 29 women participating in the selection camp and each one of them has played for either the Women’s National Team or the Junior Women’s National Team.

The athletes can only try out for two positions. Nine of them will make the team based on a ranking system and six will find their way onto the team via prior intel combined with trial performance.

Softball America has broken down the list of invitees and analyzed whether players should make the team, are on the bubble or are on the outside looking in. Keep in mind that the Olympic roster is limited to 15 and three alternates.

Ken Eriksen, head coach pending USOC approval, and the selection committee have tough decisions to make.

Players Who Should Make the Olympic Team

Monica Abbott, Cat Osterman and Rachel Garcia should be considered to be the three starters in the pitching rotation for the team next summer. Valerie Arioto and Haylie McCleney should be locked in after they displayed the most power throughout the 2019 season. Aubree Munro, Michelle Moultrie, Janie Reed, Kirsti Merritt and Kelsey Stewart are all veterans of the team and have been biding their time for an Olympic opportunity. Delaney Spaulding has been the shortstop for this squad since 2016 and Rachel Garcia is the two-time USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year. She is also one of the most popular players in the world right now.

Monica Abbott
Valerie Arioto
Haylie McCleney
Aubree Munro
Michelle Moultrie
Cat Osterman
Rachel Garcia
Delaney Spaulding
Janie Reed
Kirsti Merritt
Kelsey Stewart

Players Who Should Be On the Bubble

Ally Carda, Sahvanna Jaquish, Dejah Mulipola and Ali Aguilar all were on the 2019 roster and most likely have a higher percentage of making the team. Carda and Jaquish play multiple positions and their versatility can give them a leg up. Amanda Chidester is coming off an MVP season in National Pro Fastpitch and her teammate, Hannah Flippen can provide solid defense up the middle. Sydney Romero is the only true third baseman in the entire field and should be heavily considered for the team. Amanda Lorenz is coming off an injury that sidelined her for most of the NPF season but her consistent bat in the lineup would be a good addition. Sis Bates, while she is a human highlight reel, doens't have a power bat which was a glaring problem for the program in 2019. Jazmyn Jackson, Shelby Pendley and Keilani Ricketts were also on the team but struggled consistently during the summer.

Ally Carda
Jazmyn Jackson
Shelby Pendley
Keilani Ricketts
Amanda Chidester
Amanda Lorenz
Sahvanna Jaquish
Sydney Romero
Dejah Mulipola
Hannah Flippen
Sis Bates
Ali Aguilar

Players On The Outside Looking In

While each of the women are solid players in their own ways, this tryout will be a little more difficult for them to make the final cut. Megan Faraimo and Montana Fouts were on the JWNT roster in 2019 and had great summers but they are still young and have time to mature. Taylor Edwards played for ScrapYard so she competed against Team USA but the number of spots for catchers is limited. Bubba Nickles and Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza did not play with or against Team USA this summer which hurts their chances.

Taylor Edwards
Megan Faraimo
Montana Fouts
Carley Hoover
Bubba Nickles
Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza

Chelsea Goodacre declined her invitation to trials.

kianna jones photo by unc athletics.jpg

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