(BPT) - For the first time in the history of either the men’s or the women’s competition, a Baseball World Cup is coming to America. Later this month, the Women’s Baseball World Cup will be drawing attention from far and wide to the baseball diamonds at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Florida.
This historic event taking place Aug. 22-31 will give American spectators a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness women’s international baseball played at the highest level. The family-friendly tournament will attract visitors from around the globe, as teams from 12 countries — Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, the United States and Venezuela — vie for the title of women’s baseball world champion.
In June, Team USA announced the 20 players who will represent the United States in this year’s tournament. The U.S. National Team selections include some names from America’s 2006 lineup, the last Team USA to take home the championship title, such as Tamara Holmes, Meggie Meidlinger, Marti Sementelli and Malaika Underwood. This will be Underwood’s record-breaking ninth international event, the most of any Team USA representative — male or female — in history.
The 2006 veterans on Team USA are joined by 10 other past National Team players. In addition, 11 players on this year’s club helped the U.S. win gold at the 2015 Pan American Games.
Other notables announced for the current Team USA roster include 43-year-old Ila Borders, who was one of the first women ever to start in a men’s professional baseball game (when she pitched for the St. Paul Saints in 1997), and right-handed pitcher Ashton Lansdell, who at 17 is the youngest player on the squad. The multi-generational team is proof to females of all ages that many of the barriers in even the most male-dominated sports have fallen, and that it’s never too late to dream big.
During this Women’s Baseball World Cup, the 12 teams will compete round-robin style in two groups of six during the opening round, which takes place Aug. 22-26. The top three finishers from each group will advance to a three-day “super round” Aug. 28-30, which will determine the two teams that will compete in the world championship game on Friday, Aug. 31.
The Women’s Baseball World Cup is sanctioned by the WBSC (World Baseball Softball Confederation), and all tournament games will be broadcast globally by USSSA (United States Specialty Sports Association).
For more information on the WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup, head to www.Viera2018.com. And for information on where to stay, what to do and things to see on Florida’s Space Coast during the tournament, check out www.visitspacecoast.com.