Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Former Arizona Wildcat makes U.S. national softball team

Jenae Leles

Jenae Leles, in addition to her stellar work at third base, finished her Arizona career in 2009 sixth in school history with 57 home runs.
2008 Tucson Citizen photo

Former Arizona Wildcats third baseman Jenae Leles has earned a spot on the USA Softball women’s national team, but current UA third baseman Brigette Del Ponte did not.

The 17-player team was announced Friday morning after a tryout camp this week, with one alternate also selected. There were 35 players at the camp.

Leles also was a member of the national team in 2009.

Team USA will compete this summer in the Canadian Open Fast Pitch International Championship in Surrey, B.C., from July 9-17 and the World Cup of Softball VI from July 21-25 in Oklahoma City.

The national team will then try to win its seventh consecutive title at the Pan American Games, which will be held Oct. 17-23 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Other Tucson ties on Team USA are former Kentucky infielder Molly Johnson (Sabino High School) and assistant coach Tairia Flowers, a Salpointe Catholic graduate and former U.S. Olympian. She is the head coach at Cal State Northridge.

Arizona State pitcher Dallas Escobedo, who earlier this month helped lead the Sun Devils to the national championship as a freshman, was not selected to the team.

Here is Team USA, which includes Oklahoma junior-to-be Keilani Ricketts, who led the Sooners to a sweep of Arizona in this season’s NCAA Super regional in Tucson:

Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif./California)
Whitney Canion (Aledo, Texas/Baylor)
Kaitlin Cochran (Yorba Linda, Calif./Arizona State)
Lauren Gibson (Pasadena, Md./Tennessee)
Kelly Grieve (Asheville, N.C./Tennessee)
Taylor Hoagland (Flower Mound, Texas/Texas)
Ashley Holcombe (Fayetteville, Ga./Alabama)
Molly Johnson (Tucson, Ariz./Kentucky)
Stacy Johnson (Reno, Nev./Iowa)
Megan Langenfeld (Bakersfield, Calif./UCLA)
Jenae Leles (Sacramento, Calif./Arizona)
Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla./Florida)
Christine Orgeron (New Orleans, La./ULL)
Keilani Ricketts (San Jose, Calif./Oklahoma)
Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif./Florida)
Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Michigan)
Rhea Taylor (Buford, Ga./Missouri)
Chelsea Thomas (Pleasantville, Iowa/Missouri)
Alternate - Jessica Shults (Valencia, Calif./Oklahoma)

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