USA Softball stops in Fort Myers to train for tournament in Dominican Republic

Posted at 11:07 PM, Aug 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-02 06:38:24-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The national softball team made a historic stop in Fort Myers Tuesday.  Team USA's bus rolled in for a few days in Fort Myers to practice at City of Palms Park.

"This is the first time ever," said Ken Eriksen, Team USA's head coach.

Coach Eriksen and his team are here to train for the Pan-American qualifier in the Dominican Republic. The weather in Fort Myers makes it the ideal spot for a tune up.

"We are guessing the climate down there will be very similar, very hot, a lot of rain," said Jessica Moore, one of Team USA's pitchers. "It's a perfect place to stop before we head down," she added.

Team USA had a mix of new and veterans and hope to continue to play hard and go for gold.  "We want everybody comfortable," said Moore. "It's a long ride until 2020 and this is just the first step towards it."

Several people got a chance to watch Team USA in action including Dave Goodwin and his daughter Ryanne.

"I coach her softball team for a number of years," said Goodwin. "I couldn't be more excited to take a look at the team," he added.

His daughter brought a ball to see if some of the women on the team can sign it to have a cool souvenir to bring back to Chicago.

Coach Eriksen thinks the kind of role models he fields is the real prize.  "Myself, as a father, I hope my daughters grow up to be like how these people are," said Coach Eriksen.

Team USA will be back in action at City of Palms Park for another day of practice Wednesday. The morning practices are private, but fans are welcome to attend the evening scrimmages which start at 5:15 pm Wednesday afternoon.