With softball off the Olympic program in 2012, the state of the sport in the United States got a major boost Friday.
The International Softball Federation has awarded the 2010 Women’s World Championships to Oklahoma City.
Qualifying tournaments around the world will determine the 16 fast-pitch teams to be represented in Oklahoma, July 9-19, 2010. Four fields at the Amateur Softball Association’s Hall of Fame complex, including Don E. Potter ASA Hall of Fame Stadium, will be utilized.
The women’s Worlds have not been held in the U.S. for 20 years. The last International Softball Federation Worlds (men, women, junior men, junior women) to be decided in the U.S. was the 1996 Men’s World Championships in Michigan.
Team USA is the defending champion, having won the 2006 title in China by beating Japan 3-0.
Japan came back to beat Team USA for the Beijing Olympics gold last August.
“I love wearing red, white and blue, and to wear those colors in our home country while competing for a World Championship is something I though I would never be a part of,” two-time Olympian Jessica Mendoza said in a release provided by ASA/USA Softball. “I know the ASA will host a great event in Oklahoma City and I know the fans will come out in great support. With softball out of the Olympics in 2012, this is the ultimate opportunity to see the best softball teams in the world compete for the top crown in sports.”