The new year began with a bang around our training center as we celebrated our very own Kathryn Sandercock’s selection to the USA Softball Jr Women’s National Team! A growing emphasis will be placed on this developmental team to build our national softball program due to softball being voted back into the 2020 Olympics.
THE TRYOUTS FOR THE USA SOFTBALL JR WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM
After an open tryout in Clearwater, Florida on Dec. 30 with over 200 hopefuls, Kathryn was one of 10 players called back for a New Year’s Eve tryout along with 37 invitees. The tryout featured six scrimmages, and Kathryn sat and watched the first five before finally taking the circle. Her dad kept texting me how she did against nearly 40 batters over two hours. She kept sitting down hitters with her speed and mix of pitches, clearly impressing the Selection Committee!
Kathryn said: “Trying out for the USA Softball Jr Women’s National Team was a great experience. First of all it was an amazing opportunity to pitch to some of the best batters I have ever faced. It was also a great opportunity to meet girls that I will be playing against in college. I have practiced really hard to get here. Thanks to the support from my friends, family, and coaches for helping me get this far. It’s going to be exciting to compete with some of the best players in the world. Mostly I can’t wait to represent the USA!”
Most noteworthy, Kathryn is the lone Virginia and at age 16, is one of the youngest on the 19-under team. Kathryn will represent the United States as a member of the 2017 USA Softball Jr Women’s National Team roster. She will compete at the World Cup of Softball XII in Oklahoma City and the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Junior Women’s World Championship, July 24-30 in Clearwater, Fla.
In order to try out, pitchers must have a consistent speed for any three of the following:
Fastball – 63 mph minimum
Riseball – 60 mph minimum
Change up – 45 mph maximum or 18 mph slower than maximum pitch speed
Curveball – 60 mph minimum
Dropball – 63 mph minimum
I had received USA Softball’s email announcing open tryouts for the Jr Women’s National Team and half-jokingly mentioned it to Kathryn during a lesson in October. Next lesson she told me she was going! Consequently her dad, Colin, liked the extra motivation it gave Kathryn to practice the weeks leading up to the tryout.
First of all she used her new 12-hole riseball Pitchers Pocket to help prepare. Since she is a James Madison Univ commit, she choose purple for her color! The hard-throwing righty has continued to increase her speed (up 19mph!) since the beginning of her lessons in 2012, consequently she quickly ascended our Speed Club. She’s hit 69mph several times on the Radar Pitching Trainer and enjoys the challenge of pitching into it every lesson.
Especially relevant to her preparation, Kathryn and her dad have been diligent in icing her arm after every workout and game with the ICE20 wrap in order to keep her shoulder healthy.
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Here is a twitter feed from USA Softball on second day of the camp. If you look 19 seconds into the video, you will see Kathryn throw a pitch.
— USA Softball (@USASoftball) January 2, 2017