2016 USA Softball Slow Pitch National Teams announced
Pictured is the 2015 Team USA
2016 USA Softball Slow Pitch National Teams announced as Border Battle VIII and Slow Pitch Showdown return to Oklahoma City
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball has announced today the 2016 rosters for both the USA Softball Men's Slow Pitch National Team and USA Softball Slow Pitch Futures Team. Ten National Team veterans and five rookies will wear the Red, White and Blue this summer as members of the 2016 USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch National Team roster while seven Futures Team veterans and eight rookies comprise the 2016 USA Softball Slow Pitch Futures Team. Both teams will take part in a series of exhibition games at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex – OGE Energy Field – INTEGRIS Field in Oklahoma City and the Slow Pitch Showdown. The Slow Pitch National Team will also face off against Canada in Border Battle VIII on July 6.
“The excitement and honor to have this opportunity is the same for me today as it was in 2009,” said Head Coach Steve Shortland. “Being retired military, putting on a uniform to represent my nation is a responsibility I never took lightly and I approach my Team USA coaching duties the same way. The talent and character of the athletes selected each year embody that same spirit and being able to share the field with them is always a true pleasure. My thanks to the ASA/USA Softball leadership and everyone involved for making our National Team and the Border Battle events possible. Although our last host (Michigan ASA/USA Softball) was phenomenal, I look forward to being back at OGE Energy Field to defend our title. I trust Canada will represent well and we hope the fans enjoy the event.”
Highlighting this year’s Slow Pitch National Team roster are first-time National Team members Ryan Parfitt (East Norriton, Pa.), Mike Umscheid (Kenosha, Wis.) and Brian Zirkle (Bourbonnais, Ill.), who were members of last year’s Futures National Team. Also returning to the roster are eight-time Men’s Slow Pitch National Team members Brett Helmer (Cicero, N.Y.) and Brian Wegman (Hamilton, Ohio), who were both on the inaugural squad in 2009 and have continued to represent the United States each year since. Joining the roster for their first time as a member of Team USA are Filip Washington (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Steve Whaley (Richardson, Texas).
"It's a great honor to be selected for the USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch National Team,” said Parfitt (East Norriton, Pa.). "I'm really excited to go back and play at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City. Last year, representing the USA Futures was without a doubt the most fun I've had playing and I'm blessed for the opportunity to come back and represent ASA/USA Softball for another year.”
The team will be coached by Steve Shortland (Converse, Texas), who is making his eighth-consecutive appearance as the Head Coach of Team USA.
Created in conjunction with the inaugural Border Battle slow pitch competition against Canada in 2009, the Men’s Slow Pitch National Team program is now in its eighth season. Last year, Team USA captured their sixth Border Battle title with a 22-7 win over Canada in Midland, Mich. The Americans won the inaugural Border Battle 30-23 but Canada evened the series in 2010 with a 30-29 win. The USA men rebounded in 2011 with a dominating 25-3 performance, a 32-21 victory in 2012, a 25-10 win in 2013 and an 18-9 win over Canada in 2014.
Highlighting this year’s Slow Pitch Futures Team roster are three-time Futures Team members Neil Haglund (Stony Brook, N.Y.) and Cory Large (Bedford, Texas), who have been on the Futures roster since 2013. Eight athletes will also join the roster for their first time as a member of Team USA.
The team will be coached by Rob Humphrey (Burlington, Iowa), who is making his third-consecutive appearance on the coaching staff of Team USA.
In addition to participating in Border Battle VIII, the 2016 Slow Pitch National Team will take on the 2016 USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch Futures Team in the Slow Pitch Showdown on July 5. Both U.S. Slow Pitch teams will also compete against Canada and local slow pitch teams in a series of exhibition games July 4-6. A complete schedule for the Men’s Slow Pitch National Teams will be released at a later date.
All-session tickets are now on sale for Border Battle VIII and the World Cup of Softball XI. Tickets, which are $175 for Gold Pass reserved seating and $60 for general admission seating, can be purchased by phone at 800-654-8337 or online at ASAUSASoftball.com. Gold Pass all-session tickets include a USA Softball hat, World Cup XI program, a personalized name slide on the videoboard at OGE Energy Field, exclusive parking and advanced autograph sessions. Fans that hold the Gold Pass all-session ticket will have open seating in the Gold Pass section (click here to view seating chart). Single-session Gold Pass and general admission tickets will go on sale in early June.
About ASA/USA Softball
Founded in 1933, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball is the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, ASA/USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 70 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 165,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2.2 million. ASA/USA is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles as well as claimed eight World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about ASA/USA Softball, please visit http://www.asausasoftball.com.