Jenna Marston USA Baseball Update

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As many of you might know by now, Mizzou shortshop Jenna "JJ" Marston is representing the United States as a member of the USA Baseball Women's National Team. That's right, baseball. Marston played baseball her entire life up until high school, where she played both baseball and softball for Principia High School in St. Louis. Now she's back on the baseball diamond again, where she has gotten the chance to return to the mound as a pitcher while also getting to show off her sweet lefty swing on a national level.

Team USA finished up tryouts a week and a half ago, and they spent last week competing in some exhibitions. Not surprisingly, JJ is shining. Here's a look at how she's doing so far.

To start off, Marston and 31 others were invited to try out for Team USA in Cary, N.C. The roster was then knocked down to 20 official squad members following a week of practices, tryouts and intersquad games. JJ came off the bench in game one as a designated hitter, and went 2-for-2 with a double, two RBI and a run scored as her team, Team Red, defeated Team Blue by an 8-4 final. She also pitched for two innings, striking out a batter.

The following day, Team Blue bested Team Red, 6-0, but Marston was still able to rope another double in her only at bat of the game. Team Red won the third game over Team Blue by a 17-5 score, but no box score is available for that game.

With the roster now officially at 20 members, Team USA spent last week playing four exhibition games, with two against the Australian National Team and two against the Southern Stars, another women's baseball team from Australia.

JJ got the start in right field in the first game against Australia, as she batted second in the lineup. She had a big game, picking up three singles in three at-bats while scoring a pair of runs. In the fifth inning, Marston's single back up the middle drove in a run and helped cushion USA's lead as they went on to win 8-2.

Though Marston wasn't in the starting lineup for game two, she was quickly called upon in the third inning of the game. Team USA's starter had given up five runs in the first two innings, so Marston was brought on to pitch. Out of the eight pitchers that day, JJ was just one of two who didn't give up a run, and the other pitched only 0.1 innings. Marston, on the other hand, went three innings of scoreless ball, gave up only two hits and struck out a batter. She also went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double, two RBI and another run scored.

In their first game against the Southern Stars, Marston started at shortstop while batting in the two spot of the lineup. She picked up her sixth hit of the week and stole her first base as Team USA went on to win 4-2.

Marston and Team USA closed out their week of exhibitions with one more game against the Southern Stars. Once again batting second, Marston started in right field for this one, and went 1-for-1 with a single, walk, sacrifice fly and two RBI as she helped Team USA stomp the Southern Stars 16-2.

Today the team left for Venezuela, where they'll compete in the IBAF Women's Baseball World Cup. The schedule is as follows:

Aug. 12 vs. Japan 1 p.m. CT
Aug. 14 vs. Korea 1 p.m. CT
Aug. 15 vs. Puerto Rico 5 p.m. CT
Aug. 16 vs. Cuba 5 p.m. CT

The playoffs run from Aug. 18-20, with the 9th-12th place games and the semifinals being held on Aug. 21. The medal round is held on Aug. 22.

MLB.com and USABaseball.com has posted video highlights and interviews from the two exhibitions with Australia. In the first video, there's an interview with JJ at the end, while the second video has highlights of her pitching performance.

Game 1
Game 2

And finally, here's JJ's cumulative stats through the exhibition round: Overall Stats

We'll have more information on JJ and Team USA here at mutigers.com throughout competition, and you can check out USABaseball.com for updates as well.

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