Team Australia is sure to get more than a casual workout when the national softball team squares off against the Wiregrass All-Stars on June 30 at the Westgate Softball Complex in Dothan.
An impressive list of former area high school softball players who have reached the college level will come together for an exhibition game against Team Australia, which will spend three days in Dothan before moving on to Birmingham to take part in the World Games, which begin July 9.
The local all-stars will be coached by Dothan native and former Auburn softball great Kasey Cooper and former Alabama standout and current Geneva High coach Ashley Holcombe Bell. Both Cooper and Bell are former Team USA players.
Australian native Sharon O’Mara, a former pitching coach at Troy University and owner of All Zones Fastpitch Academy in Enterprise since 2014, pitched the idea of showcasing the national team in the Wiregrass after being contacted by Australian coach Laing Harrow.
“I think to give them that experience down here is going to be awesome for them,” O’Mara said during a press conference last month. “I’m not sure how they’ll deal with the heat.”
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Better yet, how will they stack up against some talented players from this region?
Five former Dothan Wolves players are scheduled to play, K.J. Braswell (Wallace-Dothan), Collier Peaden (Gulf Coast), Jabby Terrell (Gulf Coast), Natalie Turner (Southern Union) and Nicole Turner (Southern Union).
Enterprise is represented by Emma Faulk (AUM) and Hannah Mynard (West Alabama). Former Rehobeth players Shellie Littlefield (Coastal South) and Makayla Peters (Gulf Coast) are joined by the Wicksburg duo of Emily Boin (Lindsey Wilson College) and Theresa Reynolds (Enterprise State).
Also on the roster is Providence Christian product Emma Houston (Wallace-Dothan), G.W. Long’s Morgan Ferguson (AUM), Brantley’s Sheontae Barginere (Gulf Coast) and Dale County’s Liz Rodebaugh (Chattanooga).
O’Mara said the Australian team is slated to fly in from the Canada Cup and arrive in Dothan on the evening of June 28. On June 29, a Wednesday, the team will put on a clinic for about 100 to 120 local travel ball players at the Westgate Softball Complex before the exhibition game is held the following day.
The time of the exhibition, which will be open to the public, has yet to be announced.