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Six From Big 12 Conference Selected for USA Softball National Team

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Six players from Big 12 schools have been named to the USA Softball Women’s National Team.

Named to the 18-person team were two players from Big 12 champion Missouri, two from Oklahoma and one each from Baylor and Texas. The announcement was made by the Amateur Softball Association of America and USA Softball.

Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and a member of the All-Big 12 first team, Chelsea Thomas of Missouri, heads the selectees from the conference. Thomas is joined by teammate Rhea Taylor, an outfielder; all-conference pitcher Keilani Ricketts and catcher Jessica Shults, named to the national team as an alternate, from Oklahoma; and all-conference first-teamers Baylor pitcher Whitney Canion and Texas infielder Taylor Hoagland.

The USA Softball team will play two exhibition games next week in Florida before heading to Canada July 9-17 for the Canadian Open Fast Pitch International Championship in Surrey, B.C. That tournament will be the first international competition for 12 of the 18 members of the USA team. From July 21-25, the USA Softball team will play in the World Cup of Softball VI in Oklahoma City.

The USA Softball National Team will go after its ninth Pan America Games title Oct. 17-23 in Guadalajara, Mexico. This will be the team’s final competition in 2011.