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Valencia softball grads represent U.S.

Shipman, Taylor win gold medals with national teams

Posted: September 6, 2010 9:17 p.m.
Updated: September 7, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 

When Jennie Finch, one of the most recognized personalities in American softball, retired over the summer, a page was turned in the history of the national program.

Last month, two local products took steps to become part of USA Softball’s new chapter as Valencia graduates Jordan Taylor and Madison Shipman won gold with the Women’s Futures and Junior national teams, respectively, at international competitions.

Taylor was on the Women’s Futures National Team roster but did not pitch as Team USA took first place at the Japan Cup.

Shipman started all nine games of the Pan American Championships in Bogota, Columbia, for the Junior National Team and went 8–for-17 with seven runs, six RBIs and eight stolen bases.

“It was such an honor to put that uniform on and represent my country,” said Shipman, who is entering her freshman year at the University of Tennessee. “Winning the gold medal was a phenomenal experience.”

The Junior National Team beat Canada 3-1 in the championship game, defeating Columbia, Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico by a combined score of 74-6 along the way. The event ran from Aug. 8-16.

However, once USA’s spot in the final was secured, poor weather delayed the game from 5 p.m. local time to 12:45 a.m.

“We just kind of stayed in this building they had that was kind of near to the field and slept between rain delays,” Shipman said. “We just tried to stay focused on the game and do what we had to do to win that gold.”

Shipman was 1-for-3 with a walk in the gold medal game, starting at first base before shifting to the designated hitter role.
Out of the 17 players on the roster, 10 are from California. Many of them are from travel ball and high school teams which Shipman has competed against in the past.

When it comes to college, some of her teammates are much more familiar. Shipman will join former Viking Jessica Spigner and Hart graduate Melissa Brown on the 2011 Volunteers.

Taylor, meanwhile, will make one final run at a national championship as she enters her senior season at Michigan, where she has already racked up many awards, including the 2010 Big Ten Pitcher of the Year.

As a junior with the Wolverines, Taylor compiled a 26-4 record, a 1.44 ERA, racked up 316 strikeouts and was named the conference’s pitcher of the week five different times.

The Futures Team beat Japan 5-0 in the championship of the Japan Cup, which ran from Aug. 6-8. The United States went 3-1 in the tournament, losing to the host nation 3-1 in the two teams’ first meeting and beating Chinese Taipei twice by scores of 4-3 and 6-2.

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