The last time the Arizona Wildcats had a pitcher on the USA National Softball Team, it was Jennie Finch in 2008.
That changes this year, as Danielle O’Toole has been selected to the team after participating in their selection camp this past week.
O’Toole was joined by fellow Wildcat Alyssa Palomino at the camp, but Palomino, a redshirt freshman, did not make the cut. She missed the entire 2016 college season with a torn ACL.
Last season, O’Toole posted a 26-12 record with a 2.17 ERA in 216 innings pitched for the Wildcats. It was her first year pitching for Arizona after transferring from San Diego State.
The USA National Team is coached by current USF head coach Ken Eriksen, who was inducted into the USA Softball Hall of Fame back in November. Eriksen served as an assistant under Mike Candrea on the 2004 Olympic gold-medal team.
Softball was added back to the Olympic program for the 2020 Tokyo games, but Candrea has said that he will likely not be part of Team USA when that time comes. It would not be surprising to see Palomino on that 2020 team, along with a couple of others.
Two incoming Wildcats, Dejah Mulipola and Jessie Harper, have been selected to the National Junior Training Team. The 2017 Arizona team is loaded with talent that the program hasn’t seen in a long time.
O’Toole and the rest of Team USA will compete in the World Cup of Softball from July 4-9 in Oklahoma City. Perhaps that won’t be the only time she plays in OKC this year.