COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The 2017 NJCAA Softball National Team is currently north of the border to compete in the 2017 Canada Cup International Softball Championship. The tournament is being held in Surrey, British Columbia, July 7-17, with competition for the NJCAA squad beginning Saturday.
Playing in the International Division, the team is designated in Pool A with Japan, Mexico and the Quebec Rebelles. Their first contest will be Saturday evening against Japan. Click here to view the tournament schedule.
The International Division also features teams from Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Pakistan, Philippines and Puerto Rico.
The NJCAA squad consists of four players off 2017 national title teams and 11 All-Americans - four being either a pitcher or player of the year. Division I Player of the Year Brynn Minor of Butler (KS) and teammate Division I Pitcher of the Year Regan Mergele will lead a solid lineup that also includes, Division II Player of the Year Kelly Byrd of Jones County (MS) and Division III Pitcher of the Year Kelsie Packard of Rock Valley (IL).
- In 59 games played in the 2017 season, Minor batted .497 and tallied 30 home runs and 97 RBI’s. Against Salt Lake (UT) in the DI title game, Minor tied a season-high with three home runs and seven RBI’s to help guide the Grizzlies to an 11-7 victory and the program’s second consecutive title.
- Mergele made 30 starts posting a 29-0 record and pitched a total of 130 innings, while only allowing 14 earned runs for an ERA of 0.75. She was three strikeouts shy of 200 for the season, finishing with 197. The San Antonio native’s best performances came against Dodge City (KS) when she tossed a complete game shutout with 10 strikeouts.
- The Bobcats’ Byrd ranked fourth in DII with 19 home runs this season and was second in the nation with 92 runs batted in. In 179 at bats, the infielder only struck out 13 times.
- Packard appeared in 23 games, notching a 22-0 record. In 126 and two-thirds innings pitched, she struck out 205 batters, while accumulating a 1.33 ERA. At the DIII national tournament, Packard went 2-0 and with 22 strikeouts in 12 innings to help catapult the Golden Eagles to the 2017 national title.
To stay up-to-date with the NJCAA Softball National Team and entire Canada Cup visit canadacup.com or follow the 2017 Canada Cup on Twitter - @CanadaCup2017. Fans can also follow the team on Twitter @NJCAAallstars.
|NJCAA National Team Roster|
|33||Maddie Hansen||C||Kirkwood (IA)|
|12||Taylor Beshears||C/IF||Wallace-Hanceville (AL)|
|13||Jade Lee||IF||Iowa Western|
|17||Ashley Morris||IF||Chipola (FL)|
|24||Claire Dudek||IF||Des Moines (IA)|
|32||Rebecca Skains||IF||LSU-Eunice (LA)|
|45||Kelly Byrd||IF||Jones County (MS)|
|8||Taylor Nearad||OF||Kirkwood (IA)|
|16||Morgan Frost||OF||Kirkwood (IA)|
|22||Brooke Breland||OF||Phoenix (AZ)|
|2||Brynn Minor||OF/P||Butler (KS)|
|3||Melanie Murphy||P||Seminole State (FL)|
|11||Lexi Kinnaird||P||Kirkwood (IA)|
|18||Kelsie Packard||P||Rock Valley (IL)|
|19||Regan Mergele||P||Butler (KS)|
|5||Dustie Durham||P/UT||Phoenix (AZ)|
|26||Cori Mccrary||UT||Jones County (MS)|