The Free Press, Mankato, MN


May 11, 2014

West fastpitch players prepare for summer of fun

Despite limited experience, duo chosen for USA junior team


“I thought I had a good shot at making it based on the tryout camp,” he said.

The next step for the two North Mankatoans is another weeklong camp with their new teammates in June back at Midland, Mich. Shortly after, they’ll fly to San Francisco where they’ll begin a West Coast tour of California, Oregon and Washington.

The duo will start July 1, with games in Hayward and Stockton, Calif.; continue with games in Medford and Salem, Oregon; and concludes with games at Fife, Washington. They then head over to Vancouver, British Columbia, before heading up to Whitehorse in the Yukon, which is the site of the World Championships.

Once there, things really get serious as the USA team embarks on a nine-game, pool-play schedule against the other teams in the tournament beginning July 11. The other countries represented will be Singapore, Japan, Argentina, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Canada and the Czech Republic.

At that point, the teams will be seeded and put into brackets for the final stages of the championships, which begins July 19. The champion will be crowned July 20.

“This is going to be fun,” Nessler said. “We get to play a bunch of games in the U.S. and Canada (against players) from around the world.”

Stoffel agreed: “I think it’s going to be a pretty good summer.”

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