July 13, 2006
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. –
Growing up outside Seattle, Florida State University softball player Tiffany McDonald dreamed of donning the Red, White and Blue as member of the United States national team. That goal is still alive, but tonight she may get the next best thing: pitching against Team USA.
McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) joined the British National Team as a guest pitcher this summer and tonight the Brits play the United States on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. (EST) as the two teams open The World Cup of Softball presented by Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. According to the Amateur Softball Association (ASA), tonight’s game will be broadcast in 200 countries around the world.
“Getting the opportunity to play against Team USA is a dream come true,” McDonald said. “To be the best you have to play the best and this is a tremendous opportunity. A lot of players can only dream of playing against Team USA, but I’ve got the chance to do it.”
Though mostly coming on as a reliever, McDonald has given the British team a boost as one of their top pitchers. She has recorded three wins, including a 2-0 shutout with 10 strikeouts against Russian in the Francesco Sanna International Tournament in Sardinia, Italy. She also tossed two shutout innings against Italy in the championship game. The Italians won the title by riding the arm of former FSU All-American Leslie Malerich.
In the team’s final tune-up before the World Cup, McDonald recorded a pair of victories for the Yukon Jack in the London Cup. After a one-hit shutout in pool play, McDonald pitched the Brits to the title as she allowed just one run in a 2-1 victory over a traveling team comprised of American collegiate players.
“Mostly I’ve been used as a reliever so and that’s something I haven’t had to do before,” McDonald added. “That role has put me into situations that in the past I haven’t been comfortable in so it’s definitely helping me grow and mature as a pitcher. Coming in during pressure situations and being successful is only going to make me stronger for next season.”
Last season McDonald was one of the top collegiate pitchers in the country. She finished second in the country behind Tennessee’s Monica Abbott – a member of Team USA – for appearances (57) and innings pitched (329.1), while ranking in the top 10 for wins (30) and top 20 for strikeouts (312). Her innings pitched total is a new Florida State and Atlantic Coast Conference record.
The World Cup of Softball presented by Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, a six-team tournament sanctioned by the International Softball Federation (ISF), will feature the best fast pitch softball players in the world. Pool play runs from July 13-16 with the top two teams from each pool meeting in the championship game July 17. Japan defeated the United States last year to claim the inaugural Championship.