IRVINE, Calif. (press release)—Tennessee sophomore Annie Aldrete and UT standout alums Raven Chavanne and Lauren Gibson were named to the 2015 USA Softball Women’s National Team, as announced by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball on Thursday evening.
Aldrete, Chavanne and Gibson were three of 18 athletes selected to represent the Red, White and Blue this summer following a three-day selection camp at Bill Barber Park in Irvine, Calif. Thirty-three athletes participated in the selection camp where they were evaluated by members of the Women’s National Team Selection Committee, which selected the 18-player roster.
The 2015 USA Softball Women’s National Team will compete this summer in the World Cup of Softball X in Irvine, Calif., as well as the Pan American Games in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
“The Women’s National Team roster of 18 may be one of the most well-rounded group of athletes I have been around in the last 10-11 years,” Women’s National Team Head Coach Ken Eriksen said. “I am looking forward to our continued development as we strive to gain our rightful place as the No. 1 team in the world. The journey over the next six years begins today with the announcement of the world’s best fast pitch softball team.”
Aldrete, Chavanne, Gibson named to USA Softball
In preparation for the 2015 season, Team USA will compete in a series of exhibition games in the weeks leading up to the World Cup of Softball, which will be held June 29-July 5, and the Pan American Games. The complete schedule, including tour stops and clinics, will be released at a later date on USASoftball.com. Representing the U.S. this summer will be 13 returning veterans from the 2014 roster which claimed the General Tire World Cup of Softball IV title and finished second at the International Softball Federation (ISF) Women’s World Championship in Haarlem, Netherlands. Five rookies also join the squad, with two of those rookies having previously worn the Red, White and Blue as a member of the USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team.
Eriksen, who is USF’s head coach, will lead the National Team will once again be assisted by three-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Oregon State head coach Laura Berg, LSU assistant coach Howard Dobson and UNLV head coach Lisa Dodd throughout the summer events.
This summer Tennessee will have four current or former players representing the United States. Earlier this week freshman infielder Meghan Gregg was named to the USA Softball Junior National Team.
This is Aldrete’s first time being named to the USA Softball Women’s National Team. The Tennessee sophomore is coming off a banner freshman season in 2014 as she was named the NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year Co-Winner, an NFCA Second-Team All-American and a First-Team All-SEC selection. Aldrete tied Gibson’s Tennessee single-season home run record with 19 homers in 2014 and she hit .361 while posting UT rookie records of 65 RBIs and a .813 slugging percentage.
Tennessee legends Chavanne and Gibson enjoyed another successful summer with Team USA in 2014. They helped lead the Stars and Stripes to a gold medal in the World Cup of Softball IX and silver medal in the ISF IXV World Championship.
Chavanne and Gibson were two of Team USA’s brightest stars this summer. Chavanne, in her second summer on the U.S. WNT, led the team with a .464 batting average (45-for-97) and posted two homers, one double, 19 RBIs, 26 runs, eight walks. She also tallied a team-best 10 stolen bases this summer in 12 attempts and finished with a .509 on-base percentage and a .536 slugging percentage for a 1.045 OPS.
Gibson has been a staple on Team USA in each of the last four years. In 2014, she hit. 310 (26-for-84) and was one of the Americans’ main power threats, ranking second on the team in RBIs (23) home runs (five), doubles (eight) and extra-base hits (13). Gibson totaled 23 runs and 11 walks and finished with a .398 on-base percentage, a .482 slugging percentage and a .865 OPS.