CLAREMONT, CA – Sagehen Softball star Liz Rodarte, found an exciting way to stay busy this summer, representing the United States in a softball tour of Europe.
The 2017 All-West Region and All-SCIAC selection spent a week and a half in the summer representing the American International Sports Team (AIST), playing in a series of games across Western Europe.
"This was the first time I played for the group," said Rodarte. "I hadn't met anyone until we gathered in the airport, but we hit it off quickly and I we still talk to each other now."
Rodarte, a junior, was the youngest member of the squad made up of collegiate players and recent graduates from throughout the United States. The AIST has been traveling the world with select players from across the country since 2002 competing in a variety of sports. The selection process is based on recommendations from coaches as well as statistical leaders from around the nation at all levels of college play.
"It's always exciting when an athlete gets the chance to represent our program and the country internationally," said Softball Head Coach JoAnne Ferguson. "I'm confident her trip overseas and the European competition will help prepare Liz for a strong junior season."
The squad played in four games during their trip facing off against teams that varied in age from 16 to 35 and older. They first stopped in Paris to play against a French select team where they secured their first win of the trip and toured the local sites including the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triophe, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre.
They next headed north to Belgium where they visited the medieval town of Bruges, enjoyed a ride on a canal cruise, and enjoyed Belgian waffles. Next in Antwerp, the team played the second game of the tour against the Belgian Pioneers where the AIST team scored their second win of the trip.
For their final two games, Rodarte and company traveled to Amsterdam to play local teams HCWA and the Amsterdam Pirates. While in Amsterdam, the team visited the Anne Frank House, the Dutch Resistance Museum, and went on a bike tour through the city.
Rodarte led her team to a 4-0 record during the stretch, pitching and playing first while notching seven hits.
"I had a great time playing and exploring Europe with my awesome teammates," said Rodarte. "Some of I made some great memories and am so thankful I had this opportunity."