CoMO Sports: Mizzou Becomes America’s Team

Move over, Dallas Cowboys… the Missouri Tigers are making a case as:

Chelsea Thomas and Rhea Taylor

 “America’s Team”.

This summer, the USA Softball Women’s National Team and the Team USA Collegiate National Baseball Team will be dawning the red, white & blue and hitting the field against competition from all over the planet earth…

… and the Tigers of Ol’ Mizzou will be waving the flag.

Ask any USA Softball official who they would like to bat lead-off, and the consensus answer would be:

Rhea Taylor from Missouri.

Ask any USA Softball official who they would like to pitch in the biggest game, and the consensus answer would be:

Chelsea Thomas from Missouri.

Ask any USA Baseball official who they would like to manage and coach the National Team, and the consensus answer would be:

Tim Jamieson from Missouri.

Three-time All-American centerfielder Rhea Taylor and National Player of the Year Finalist (and Big 12 Pitcher Of The Year) Chelsea Thomas left for Florida this morning to begin their summer season with a few exhibition games.

The Mizzou softball stars will play a couple other Junior National Teams in Florida, Virginia, and Maryland as a warm-up. Then the real competition begins in British Columbia for the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship (July 9-17).

After Team USA wins that Canadian-thing, they return to the States to compete for the “World Cup of Softball VI” (July 21-25) in Oklahoma City. The United States has won the World Cup four years in a row. If the Americans win THIS year, it will likely be because Taylor and Thomas were their usual, predictably, dominant selves.

At 5:30 this evening in New Hampshire, Team USA Baseball plays the first game of a seven-game stretch against a variety of teams from the New England Collegiate Baseball League. The finale of that string of games concludes on June 27th against the NECBL’s All-Star Team at Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox.

Yes. Tim Jamieson will be yelling at umpires on the same field that Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, and Pedro Martinez used to yell at umpires.

The 15-game season will end in early July with a five-game series between the United States and Japan. That rivalry is about as real as it gets. Missouri will be right in the middle of it.

MU Assistant Coach Dan Pietroburgo will be coaching with Team USA and Mizzou pitcher Eric Anderson has been selected as an alternate.

For a few weeks this summer, Tiger stripes have been traded for stars and stripes.

For a few weeks this summer, the bombs won’t be coming from the USS Missouri, but from the University of Missouri.

For a few weeks this summer, Huskers and Jayhawks alike will show their patriotism with a simple chant:

“M-I-Z!…… U-S-A!!”

Fine. I won’t push it.

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