University of Kentucky shortstop Molly Johnson has been named to the USA Softball women’s team that will compete in the Japan Cup, July 31-Aug. 2, at Sendai, Japan.
Johnson, who as a junior this year became UK’s first softball All-American, tried out for the National Team last week at Chula Vista, Calif. Although not named to the national team, she was added to the roster for the Japan Cup.
Team USA, which returns eight players from the 2008 Olympic silver-medal team, opens play in the Canada Cup, July 4-12, at Surrey, British Columbia, as well as the World Cup, July 16-20, at Oklahoma City. Nine of the 18 National Team members will supplement the Japan Cup roster. Seven National Team members are included on the squad that will play in the Pan American Qualifier Tournament, July 31-Aug. 9, at Maracay, Venezuela.
This season, Johnson set school records for runs (53), hits (81) and on-base percentage (.498) to help UK to its first Southeastern Conference Tournament appearance since 2001. The Wildcats notched their first-ever post-season victory, as well as their first NCAA Tournament bid.
After graduating from high school in Arizona, and once enrolled at UK Johnson and parents Don and Teri relocated to Lexington. Johnson, who says she considers Kentucky her home now, has started all 164 games since joining the program.
With a season to go, Johnson already blankets UK’s career top 10 lists: first in batting (.395) and slugging (.648); second in doubles (45), homers (22) and runs (113); fourth in total bases (320); fifth in RBI (110), stolen bases (46) and defensive assists (379); and sixth in triples (7) and hits (195).
National Team roster
Head coach: Jay Miller (Starkville, Miss.). Assistants: Gordon Eakin (Sandy, Utah); Ken Eriksen (Tampa, Fla.), Barbara Jordan (Northridge, Calif.).
Players — Monica Abbott (Salinas, Calif.); Chelsea Bramlett (Cordova, Tenn.); Katie Burkhart (San Luis Obispo, Calif.); Ashey Charters (Beaverton, Ore.); Kaitlin Cochran (Yorba Linda, Calif.); Andrea Duran (Selma, Calif.); Jennie Finch (La Mirada, Calif.); Vicky Galindo (Union City, Calif.); Alissa Haber (Newark, Calif.); Ashley Hansen (Chandler, Ariz.); Ashley Holcombe (Fayetteville, Ga.); Lauren Lappin (Anaheim, Calif.); Jenae Leles (Fair Oaks, Calif.); Caitlin Lowe (Tustin, Calif.); Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.); Cat Osterman (Houston); Brittany Rogers (Dacula, Ga.); Natasha Watley (Irvine, Calif.).
USA Softball’s Japan Cup team
Head coach: Miller; Assistants: Suzy Brazney (Buena Park, Calif.); Chuck D’Arcy (Sacramento, Calif.); Jordan.
Players — Valorie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.); Courtney Bures (Haymarket, Va.); Burkhart; Stacie Chambers (Glendale, Ariz.); Charters; Finch; Haber; Molly Johnson (Lexington); Lappin; Brittany Lastrapes (Laguna Niguel, Calif.); Leles; Nelson; Amber Patton (Forsyth, Ill.); Rogers; Taylor Schlopy (West Hills, Calif.); Watley.
Pan American Qualifier Team
Head coach: Miller. Assistants: Karen Johns (Whippany, N.J.); Mike Larabee (Dayton, Ohio); Pat Murphy (Northport, Ala.).
Players – Abbott; K’Lee Arredondo (Tempe, Ariz.); Brandice Balschmiter (Newark, N.Y.); Bramlett; Cochran; Duran; Galindo; Hansen; Holcombe; Megan Langenfeld (Bakersfield, Calif.); Lowe; Nikki Nemitz (St. Clair Shores, Mich.); Melissa Roth (Long Beach, Calif.); Katie Schroeder (Yorba Linda, Calif.); Angela Tincher (Eagle Rock, Va.); Maggie Viefhaus (Pacific, Mo.); Tammy Williams (Roscoe, Mo.).