Baltzell makes USA Baseball trials roster
Published 3:17 pm Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Former Longwood University All-American catcher Megan Baltzell was among the 40 players selected to the 2016 USA Baseball Women’s National Team Trials roster, as announced June 15 by USA Baseball.
If she makes the cut down to 20 players in the Women’s National Team Trials later this year, she will be part of the team that will travel to Gijang City, South Korea, and represent the U.S. in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s Baseball World Cup, played Sept. 3-11.
“Ever since I was 5 years old when I started playing baseball, I watched the Majors and I watched the Olympics, and … I was just like, ‘I would love to wear the red, white and blue to represent my country in the best way that I could do it, because one of the best things I’m good at is sports,’” Baltzell said. “That’s just a dream come true right there.”
To make the cut from 80 to 40 players, Baltzell performed in a pro-style workout, games and other tests at the Women’s National Open, held recently at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C.
She listed herself as a utility player and played a variety of positions in front of coaches evaluating her play. Those positions included outfielder, first baseman, catcher and pitcher.
“I didn’t make any major mistakes,” Baltzell said. “I felt very confident in all the positions that I played.”
The National Team Trials roster is composed of athletes between the ages of 16 and 42 who hail from 13 different states. Lancer Head Coach Kathy Riley was pleased to see her former star player among that number.
“Most of all, I’m excited for her because it’s something that she wanted to do, (that) she’s been training for for the past few months,” Riley said. “It’s kind of neat because she hasn’t done pitching, but she’s actually doing pitching and playing first base a lot. It doesn’t surprise me, though, that she’s in that 40 girls because, in my opinion, she’s one of the top softball baseball players in the country.”
A 2015 graduate of Longwood, Baltzell helped the Lancers to two Big South Championships in her four seasons and holds a total of 11 school records. The 2014 and 2015 Big South Player of the Year, Baltzell finished her career in blue and white among the top 10 in NCAA history with 76 career home runs.
The Women’s National Team Trials will be held at Cal. State Fullerton, Aug. 22-25. Following trials, USA Baseball will unveil the final 20-player Women’s National Team.