WINFIELD — Like choosing the finest of diamonds from a collection of impressive solitaires, the United States Specialty Sports Association has hand-picked young athletes to play on a different sort of diamond at the USSSA All American Games this month.
One of those diamonds is a 10-year-old softball player from Winfield, Natalie Cook, who was selected to represent the Great Lakes region at the games, set for July 22-27 at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Florida.
The USSSA Fastpitch program held 26 tryouts in eight regions across the nation. Only 26 players are selected per region per age group to participate. Cook attended the tryout in West Layfayette, Indiana, on March 9, as a catcher and middle infielder. She was officially selected to the team in mid-June.
While in Florida, Cook will be competing all week with some of the top young softball players from across the country.
Cook is currently a member of the WV Lady Patriots 10U travel softball team coached by Clint Cole and also plays for Winfield Little League. She will be a fifth-grader at Eastbrook Elementary this coming school year.
According to its website, USSSA's mission is to be the most visibly recognized, technologically advanced, professionally represented sports organization in the world.
You can livestream the games and check results at www.usssa.com/fastpitch.