Junior Plays Softball in Italy for Team USA


Hannah Martel, Editor

Junior Haylee Vike spent part of this summer playing softball for Team USA in Italy. The Sentinel visited with her about the experience:

Q:How did you become a part of this team?

A: A former coach of mine recommended me to the coach that would be taking the Texas players to Italy. Coach Jacobson is the coach I went to Italy with.

Q:How was the experience compared to the other teams on which you’ve played?

A: This was a fun experience. My teammates were from Texas, New York Illinois and South Dakota. I’m used to traveling to play softball but I have  never played internationally before. I liked seeing how a game I love is played in a foreign country. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I’m glad I got to go.

Q:What teams did you play and how was their skill level?

A: We played a total of six games in the nine days we were in Italy. The team from Nettuno had players of various skill levels but was the easiest  team we played. The team outside Montecantini in the Tuscany region was pretty good. They played a variation of softball and baseball. Most of those girls all wanted to come to the states and be foreign exchange students. The last team we played was very good; they were highly competitive, a professional team called the Legnano Legends. They had players that had graduated from big Division I schools such as The University of Florida. They also had some Australian and Italian players. They were prepping to go compete in the European Champions Cup in The Czech Republic. They were really good; both of their pitchers threw in the mid-60’s and had graduated from the University of Arkansas and University of Florida.

Q:How much and where did you travel?

A: I was in Italy for nine days. We flew from Dallas to Atlanta then had a nine-hour flight into Rome. I was in Rome for three days; I saw the Coliseum, Vatican City, The Roman Forum, The Trevi Fountain. After Rome, we went to Montecantini, Florence, Pisa for three more days, and finally ending up in Milan for our last three days.