Arizona softball catcher Dejah Mulipola and former shortstop Mo Mercado are in Tokyo for the USA vs. Japan All-Star Series.
Both are members of the 2018 USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) and will play three games against the Japan National Team. The first game is scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m. Tokyo time in the Tokyo Dome.
Japan is ranked second in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) rankings. Team USA is first.
Mulipola finished her sophomore season at Arizona batting .311 with 12 home runs and 36 RBI, as the Cats made their way back to Super Regionals where they were swept by UCLA.
She won a gold medal last year at the WBSC Junior Women’s World Championship. This season, Mulipola was named a second team All-Pac 12 and National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) first team All-West Region.
The chance to play and learn in a pro-like environment should benefit Mulipola. She will be looked at as one of the leaders on next season’s team that’s generating whispers of being a special group, one that returns several key players and could make a run to the Women’s College World Series.
Mercado, a four-year starter at the UA, plays in National Pro Fastpitch for the USSSA Pride, and is making her debut on Team USA.
Mercado ended her UA career as a NFCA Second Team All-American, First Team All-Pac-12, Pac-12 All-Defensive Team. She was selected ninth overall in the NPF draft.
“Since I can remember, I have dreamed of having the opportunity to have USA across my chest,” Mercado stated in her Team USA biography. “Representing your country is a huge, humbling experience that I take such pride in. Being a part of Team USA is a dream come true and an experience I can’t wait to live.”
The series concludes this Saturday at Fukushima Azuma Stadium, which will serve as the official venue for softball and baseball events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Along with the games, the players will meet local students at Sendai City Shogen Higashi Junior High school as a part of the Sendai Citizen Exchange Program.
Team USA’s full roster and coaching staff can be seen here.