NORMAN – Oklahoma pitcher Mariah Lopez has been added to the 2017 USA Softball Junior Women's National Training Team, USA Softball announced Sunday.
Lopez, who helped OU to a national title in her recently completed freshman season, becomes the 24th member of the USJWNT, which will be competing this week at the World Cup of Softball XII in Oklahoma City. The team is scheduled to face some of the top squads in the world, including Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Puerto Rico and the USA Softball Women's National Team (WNT).
Round-robin play comprises the first three days of the World Cup as each team will play twice on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before wrapping up Saturday. The teams will then be seeded for Sunday's final day, which features the championship at noon CT on ESPN.
Following the World Cup of Softball XII, Lopez will look to make the final 17-player roster for the World Baseball Softball Confederation Junior Women's World Championship, which will be held July 24-30 in Clearwater, Fla.
A native of Saugus, Calif., Lopez was named to the All-Big 12 Freshman Team and was a top-25 finalist for NFCA Freshman of the Year. She went 18-1 in her first season in Norman with a 2.08 earned run average and 109 strikeouts to just 18 walks in 101.0 innings pitched over 31 appearances and 21 starts.
Lopez threw two complete games and recorded two saves, tying for 10th in OU single-season history in the latter category. She ranked 33rd in the country in walk rate (1.25 per 7 IP) and was 41st in strikeout rate (7.6 per 7 IP) and hits allowed per seven innings (4.99).
The winning pitcher in Game 2 of the WCWS Championship Series that saw OU win its second straight title, third in the last five years and fourth overall, Lopez also struck out six in 5.1 innings of relief vs. North Dakota State in an elimination game during the NCAA Regional.
The highlight of Lopez's season came on March 14 when she needed just 78 pitches to throw a no-hitter at Long Beach State. The performance helped earn her Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honors.