Junior USA softball invites Mountain Ridge grad Juarez

Recent Mountain Ridge graduate and current Arizona State softball pitcher Giselle Juarez is on the short list for the the 2017 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team.

Juarez is one of 20 initial invitees named by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball. The selection camp will be Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 at Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex in Clearwater, Fla.

Athletes will vie for 17 spots on the national team roster. Additional athletes may be invited to the USA Softball JWNT Selection Camp at a later date.

“I have been so fortunate and blessed to have everything work out that I now get an opportunity of a lifetime and a chance to possibly and hopefully represent the State of Arizona and the United States of America on the Junior Women’s National Team in fast pitch,” Juarez stated in an email.

Athletes who make the 2017 USA Softball JWNT roster will be competing at the 2017 World Baseball Softball Confederation Junior Women’s World Championship, which will be July 24-30 in Clearwater, Fla. The complete 2017 schedule for the JWNT, including exhibition games, will be announced at a later date.

The 2017 USA Softball JWNT will look to defend the Gold after a record-breaking performance at the 2015 WBSC Junior Women’s World Championship in Oklahoma City, Okla. last August. In Oklahoma City, the JWNT went undefeated, finishing the tournament as the leaders in batting average (.425 team batting average) and 119 runs scored while limiting opponents to just six runs.

The team is led by Head Coach Laura Berg (Head Coach at Oregon State), Assistant Coaches for the 2017 USA Softball JWNT are Trisha Ford (formerly head coach at Fresno State now at Arizona State), Kristie Fox (Head Coach at UT- Arlington), and John Rittman (Associate Head Coach at Kansas).

ASU hired Ford in July and Juarez, committed to Fresno State for two years, leaped at the chance to join her home town team with the coach she had committed to. Her mother, Dulcinea, is an ASU alum.

Juarez pitched in back-to-back Division I runner up teams in 2014 and 2015 for the Mountain Lions and became a national recruit through her performances for the Birmingham Thunderbolts Premier 18U club team.

She injured her hip and was limited during her senior season at Mountain Ridge.

“I played through the pain even over the summer until it became hard to walk. I needed to have and recently got surgery in August which led me back to my home state and now I am back to pitching,” she stated in her email.

ASA/USA Softball will also hold an open tryout opportunity for players hoping to make the 2017 USA Softball JWNT Dec. 30  in Clearwater, Fla. Eligible athletes have from now through December 1 to sign up through USASoftball.com for the open tryout, which will involve a series of softball related skill drills for each position, hitting and bunting.

For updates on the USA Softball JWNT and events throughout the 2017 season visit www.ASAUSASoftball.com.

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