June 11, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Tennessee softball co-head coach Ralph Weekly and seniors Raven Chavanne and Lauren Gibson are back exactly where they were this time last week - among softball's best at ASA Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City. This time, Chavanne and Gibson are among 32 invitees for the 2013 USA Softball Women's National Team Selection Camp and Ralph Weekly is a member of the USA Softball staff.
From Monday through Wednesday, the 32 athletes will vie for 17 spots on the 2013 USA Softball Women's National Team roster, which will be announced on Friday. During the three-day selection process athletes will participate in position drills as well as simulated games. The event is open to the public and streamed live on www.USASoftball.com. Monday's scrimmages can be viewed in their entirety online. There are three scrimmage games scheduled for Tuesday, starting at 8 p.m. ET. The selection camp will wrap up on Wednesday with two more scrimmages.
"It's exciting to watch these 32 players competing for spots on our national team that will play in the World Cup, the Canadian Open and the Pan American qualifier in Puerto Rico this summer," Ralph Weekly said. "It was great to see our two Tennessee players competing alongside three very good Oklahoma players in today's competition. These are all tremendous players. They are under the watchful eye of our USA staff and head coach Ken Eriksen of the University of South Florida."
On Monday, the athletes were divided into two teams and scrimmaged against each other. Chavanne, Gibson and Oklahoma's Keilani Ricketts were on the same team while Ricketts' OU teammates Lauren Chamberlain and Destinee Martinez were on the other team. Chavanne had a very impressive first day, knocking two doubles and a triple.
Chavanne last represented the U.S. in 2010 as a member of the USA Softball Women's Futures National Team. In the KFC World Cup of Softball V, she hit .389 (7-for-18) with three runs, two stolen bases and one RBI. She went 3-for-3 in a 2-1 upset of 2008 Olympic Gold Medal team Japan and had a key RBI single in the Americans' 9-3 win over Canada in the tournament.
Gibson was a member of the U.S. Senior National Team in 2011 and 2012. In 2012, Gibson led the U.S. team with a .500 batting average and tied for the team lead with 24 hits. The 2012 team won gold in the World Cup of Softball VII and took silver in the Canadian Open Championship and the ISF Fastpitch World Championships. In 2011, Gibson and the U.S. won gold at the World Cup of Softball VI and the XVI Pan American Games. She hit .529 with eight runs, one homer, one double, three triples and eight RBIs during the 2011 Pan Ams.
Weekly has worked with USA Softball since 1993 and was the Men's National Team Director from 1999-2001. He has also been the Women's National Team Director and a coach for the U.S. National Team over the years, earning 13 gold medals and compiling a 130-15 record over that span. He served as the hitting coach and team leader of the 2000 Olympic gold medalist team and as the hitting coach and third base coach of the 1996 Olympic gold medalist team.
Following selection camp, the 17 athletes selected to the USA Softball roster will compete in three separate events in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Fans in the United States will get an opportunity to see the team in action as they look to defend their 2012 Gold Medal at the World Cup of Softball VIII, July 11- 14, in Oklahoma City. For ticket information CLICK HERE.
After the World Cup, the Women's National Team is slated to compete July 16-22 at the Canadian Open Fast Pitch International Championship in Surrey, B.C., Canada, and Aug. 5-18 at an International Softball Federation (ISF) Women's World Championship/Pan American Games qualifier in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Tennessee co-head coach Karen Weekly has been selected as an assistant coach for the U.S. National Team for when it competes in the ISF Women's World Championship/Pan American Games qualifier in Puerto Rico in two months.