Newcomer named to Junior National Team

Incoming freshman Kourtney Salvarola has not stepped onto the softball field as a collegiate athlete, but she is already making headlines for the Bulls.

Salvarola was one of 17 athletes named to the 2010-11 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team on Tuesday.

The team will play at the Pan American Softball Championships from Aug. 6-15 in Bogota, Columbia.

“(Salvarola) really earned her spot and is very deserving of the honor,” said USF Coach Ken Eriksen. “Forty-one girls tried out and she made the cut, which is a tremendous honor and a real feather in the cap for her as a player.”

Salvarola pitched and played shortstop at Broadneck High School, where she went 12-0 with a 0.90 ERA during her senior year. She batted .619 with seven home runs and 28 RBI, leading her team to the 4A state championship in 2009.

During her sophomore season in 2007, Salvarola set a Maryland state record by hitting 12 home runs.

“Having one of our incoming freshman make the (USA Junior National Team) is huge for our university,” Eriksen said. “It shows the level of talent we have here, as we are bringing in blue chip recruits who are nationally recognized.”

Salvarola was the No. 5 rated high school softball player in the ESPNU power rankings, which were released in April.

The Bulls had a disappointing 2010 season, finishing 24-29 overall and 9-13 in Big East play. It was the first time USF missed the Big East tournament since joining the conference in 2006.

Eriksen said his incoming freshmen will play a major role in helping the Bulls bounce back from a difficult year.

Salvarola joins Chamberlain High’s Stephanie Medina, Pinellas Park’s Sara Nevins, and Sickles High twins Ashli and Courtney Goff as incoming freshman for the 2010-2011 season.

“The freshmen we have coming in with Salvarola are also high caliber players,” Eriksen said. “We expect them to make an immediate impact and are looking forward to a big turnaround season in 2011.”