Arizona softball infielder Young selected to Junior National Team
This summer, freshman infielder Lauren Young will become the latest member of the Arizona softball program to trade in her UA colors for USA red, white and blue.
Young was selected to the 17-member 2013 Junior National Team.
“I was excited to play for [the] USA, for the Junior National team,” Young said. “[It] is an amazing experience and I can’t wait for the opportunity.”
The 19-and-under U.S. team will play in the International Softball Federation X Jr. Women’s World Championship in July 1-7, in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.
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“It’s very nice,” UA head coach Mike Candrea said. “It’ll be a good thing for her, she’ll get a chance to play a competitive schedule this summer and we’re really, really happy that she’s going to get that opportunity. She’s done a good job.”
Before that, the team will play an exhibition and youth clinic in June. Tucson native Tairia Flowers, head coach of Cal State Northridge will lead the young Americans.
Young, an Anaheim, Calif., native said she was surprised she didn’t have to try out before being selected.
Freshman pitcher Nancy Bowling is an alternate. Young said she would love for Bowling to join her in Canada.
“It’d be really cool, having another Arizona teammate to go with me,” Young said. “It’d be like another experience too.”
Young is batting .320 with eight home runs and 23 RBI. She is second on the team in RBI and has a .374 on base percentage, .602 slugging and .928 fielding.
Candrea coached the Senior National Team during the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, winning the gold medal in Athens and earning silver in Beijing.
Candrea hasn’t been involved with Team USA since retiring in 2008, he said.
Young said Candrea didn’t mention his Olympic experience during the recruiting process.
UA director of softball operations Caitlin Lowe and assistant coach Alicia Hollowell both played for the senior national team from 2005 to 2008.
“They haven’t talked to me about it yet, but they’ve congratulated me,” Young said Tuesday night.
Redshirting senior pitcher Kenzie Fowler played for the 2006 Junior National Team, winning a gold medal at the National Pan American World Qualifier in Puerto Rico.
Sophomore catcher Chelsea Goodacre and sophomore first baseman/outfielder Hallie Wilson were teammates on the 2010-11 Junior National Team.
Senior shortstop Brigette Del Ponte was invited to the national team selection camp in 2011.