Auburn, Ala.--On the day the Auburn softball team opened preseason practice the Tigers’ All-American third baseman, Kasey Cooper, was named to Team USA.
Cooper, who was in Irvine, Calif., at the team trials this week, is one of 17 players selected to the squad.
"I’m still freaking out about it, but it is such an honor,” Cooper said. “I’m at a loss for words. After working hard all my life and finally getting the chance to chase my dreams, you kind of don’t know what to do. It’s been great. I’ve had family and friends texting me and emailing me. Teammates and coaches are telling me congratulations, but I credit most of this success to them. It’s not only an honor for me, but for my team, Auburn and my community as a whole.”
Going into her junior season the former Dothan High star has a career batting average of .404 for the Tigers with 36 home runs and 141 runs batted in. Cooper earned All-America honors in each of her previous two collegiate seasons and was a key performer in the Tigers winning their first-ever SEC Softball Tournament title.
Auburn set numerous school records last season and won its first NCAA regional tournament title, its first NCAA super regional and also won two games in the collegiate softball world series in Oklahoma City.
SEC softball is well-represented on Team USA. Three Florida Gators made the roster with freshman pitcher Kelly Barnhill joining senior catcher Aubrey Munro and senior outfielder/infielder Kelsey Stewart from the defending national champions. Other SEC players include senior outfielder Bianka Bell of LSU and senior outfielder Halie McCleney of Alabama as well as former Alabama pitcher Jackie Traina.
Cooper and the Tigers, who posted a 56-11 record in 2015, will open the 2016 season on Feb. 11th vs. Appalachian State.
“I think Kasey is very deserving of this,” Auburn head coach Clint Myers said. “She’s a great player and a complete package defensively and offensively. She’s going to represent us well. Kasey has worked very hard in the classroom and on the field and that has turned her into a great player and a great person.”
After the college season is finished Cooper will compete for Team USA at the World Cup of Softball XI, the XV World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s World Championship in Surrey, B.C., Canada and in the Japan Cup.