The Great Britain Under-18 Women’s Fastpitch National Team has been awarded a Wild Card berth at this summer’s WBSC Under-18 Women’s Softball World Cup Group A in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The competition will take place at the Estadio Municipal de Beisebol Mie Nishi from 23 to 27 July.
Great Britain will join fellow European teams Italy and Czechia at the Under-18 World Cup Group Stage tournaments this July, along with Japan, Chinese Taipei, New Zealand, Australia, and hosts China, Brazil, and the United States. Eighteen teams in total will participate, with other qualifiers for these Group Stage tournaments to take place in Africa and the Americas in the spring. This will be Great Britain’s first Under-18 World Cup appearance.
The WBSC Under-18 World Cup will take place in two stages, with the opening rounds held in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Dallas, Texas; and Pingtan, China, between 23 July and 2 September. An expanded total of 18 nations will participate in the World Cup, split into three groups of six national teams. The top two teams from each group, along with two wild card teams, will advance to the WBSC Under-18 World Cup Final in 2025, which will also be held in Dallas.
Great Britain’s Under-18 Women’s Team last competed at the 2023 European Under-18 Women’s Softball Championship, finishing fifth. GB’s Jessica Chan, also a member of the Senior National Team, led all players in runs and hits with 17 each, and Cara Edwards tied for the competition lead in doubles with five. In the circle, GB was led by Elena Clark-Wilson, who racked up 19 strikeouts in 20 innings of work.
The last edition of the WBSC Under-18 Women's Softball World Cup was played in Lima, Peru, in December 2021, with the USA claiming their fourth junior women’s softball world title in a row, and eighth overall, following a dramatic 1-0 win against Chinese Taipei in the final.
Great Britain Senior Head Coach Tara Henry said, “We are delighted to have this chance to showcase our young talent on the world stage. As part of our LA28 performance strategy we are monitoring and benchmarking players through this age group. Wouldn’t it be great to see one of these young players in Los Angeles in 2028?”
Performance Director and Olympic Team Leader Gary Anderson said, “Great Britain competing at World Cups was the challenge I set to our Head Coaches, and if we can achieve that on a regular basis through this Olympic Cycle we will give ourselves the best chance of preparing for qualification for the 2028 Olympic Games. I am immensely proud of this programme and the trajectory it is on, and I know that the players and coaches will do our nation proud in Brazil.”