Todachine, Begaye selected to represent Team USA in Dominican Republic
Two prominent Native American softball athletes received exciting news regarding competing in the sport they love overseas in the summer of 2017.
Courage Todachine, of Fort Defiance, and Rochelle Begaye, of Window Rock, are among Team USA’s women’s fast pitch softball team members that will tour the Dominican Republic from July 20-26, 2017.
The two applied with American International Sports Teams last month. Todachine and Begaye’s selection was based on stats that recruiters have found online and by recommendations received from coaching professionals.
The select team is made up of players from all over the United States. The criteria used to recruit players are those who have received honors such as all-conference, honorable mention, and national statistical leaders from across the country.
“The reasons for recruiting using this criteria is because in some cases, we play Junior National or National teams depending on the location of the tour,” Todachine said.
“The 2017 Dominican Republic softball team will be made up of an elite group of players that AIST and their coaches have invited to represent the Team USA. Invitations have been sent out to several hundred athletes across the nation to fill the 12-15 player roster.”
Begaye said when she and Todachine were selected they were given a choice of one of four tours to compete in. Begaye and Todachine chose from countries Italy, Australia, Netherlands, and the Dominican Republic. The two selected Dominican Republic.
The two were informed by telephone of their selection on Aug. 24 by an AIST recruiter.
“I screamed, jumped around, and cried because I never thought I’d get to play overseas,” Begaye said of her initial reaction. “And for this to happen is a miracle.”
Todachine was just as excited as Begaye to be selected.
“After I received the call I was in shock,” Todachine said. “Tears of joy and excitement were running down my face. That evening I had called my family into the kitchen and told them the news. My family is very proud of me and they are excited for me. I found myself in a pool of tears after giving the big news. Back in March, my family and I lost my grandfather Raymond Watchman. He attended every game he could from little league until I graduated from high school. I know he would be proud of me.”