USSSA Space Coast Complex hosts Women’s Baseball World Cup


The United States is seeded No. 3 in the Women’s Baseball World Cup. Play will begin Aug. 22 at the USSSA Space Coast Complex.


The countdown clock is running. And it won’t be long now. The USSSA Space Coast Complex will host the 2018 Women’s Baseball World Cup Aug. 22 to 31, marking the first time the sport’s biggest world-wide tournament has been held in the United States.

“I think there’s definitely excitement and realization that it’s close,” said Jami Lobpries, vice-president of marketing for the USSSA. “The local community has been amazing. Everyone from all four chambers (of commerce) in the county, the Office of Tourism, the Viera Company, The Avenue and (Brevard County) School Board, they’ve all been incredibly supportive.

“They’ve really been helping drive awareness, helping drive volunteers, (getting) feedback from the community. We’ve had some local companies step up and donate meals for the teams. That’s pretty cool.”

The 12-team field includes Japan, the five-time defending champion and No. 1-ranked team in the world, along with No. 2 Canada and the third-ranked United States team.

In fact, the U.S. will highlight the opening night of the tournament, playing unranked Puerto Rico at 7 p.m.

Through an agreement worked out between the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and USSSA, all 50 games of the Women’s Baseball World Cup will be broadcast internationally to places such as Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Lobpries said the USSSA was finalizing a domestic partner, but that it would most likely be ESPN Plus.

As part of the kickoff to generate interest in the tournament, the World Cup Trophy Tour kicked off on May 30 in Rockford, Ill., home of the Rockford Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary.

In addition to making stops at five Major League Baseball stadiums, there will be a local tour for the trophy beginning Aug. 1 at the USSSA Space Coast Complex with the Wednesday Friendsday hosted by the Cocoa Chamber of Commerce.

It will also appear at a breakfast hosted by the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce on Aug. 2 before heading to Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Rays on Aug. 3. The trophy also can be seen on Aug. 16 at the Thirsty Thursdays event at The Avenue.

The United States will be in Group A along with No. 5 Venezuela, No. 6 Chinese Taipei, No. 7 Korea, No. 8 Netherlands and unranked Puerto Rico, which is making its first appearance since 2010.

Group B is stacked with Japan, Canada, No. 4 Australia, No. 9 Cuba, No. 10 Hong Kong and unranked Dominican Republic, which is making its World Cup debut.

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