GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A trio of Florida’s softball stars along with the head coach Tim Walton helped the United States women’s national team secure the gold medal at the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama in July.
alligators Charla Echols, Amanda Lorenz and Michelle Moultrie were instrumental in the success the red-white-blue achieved to become world champions. Team USA beat Chinese Taipei (7-0), Canada (10-2) and Italy (6-0) in group stage play 3-0 before beating Australia 5-0 and rivals Japan 3-0 in the semifinals. 2, in the gold medal game.
The trio of Gators on the 15-player roster were tied by a single collegiate program for greatest representation.
Read below for each player’s individual take on playing for the USWNT and playing for a World Championship on American soil.
Tim Walton | Florida head coach
“It has been an incredible opportunity to be the assistant coach of the United States Women’s National Team this summer and helping that team win a championship at the 2022 World Games has been an amazing experience. I would like to thank all of the fans who turned out in Birmingham to show their support not only for Team USA but for the sport of softball and everyone involved in making this entire tournament the best experience for both the athletes as well as for the fans.”
Michelle Moultrie | Florida (2009-12)
To be fighting for a world championship on American soil for the first time…
“It was a great experience participating in the World Games. This was the first time in my career that the World Championships was held in the United States and every time an athlete competes in an international tournament on home soil it is very special.
In recent years there has been limited interaction with fans. So it wasn’t natural for me to play in Birmingham and to a packed stadium with fans who were really committed and cheering for Team USA. It was an amazing demonstration of the growing support people have for the game of softball.”
On being one of the veterans for Team USA this summer and how your role on the team has changed over the years…
“This has been a transitional year for the USA Softball program as it adapts to many new things such as: all new coaching staff, many new players and a new roster naming system. I felt that my role in it persists in being available and adaptable through all changes. To be able to honor the past by helping to pass on some of the traditions and expectations while at the same time embracing the new.”
Amanda Lorenz | Florida (2016-19)
To be able to wear red, white and blue and play for a world championship…
“It was a great honor to wear the three letters on my chest and represent my country. For as long as I can remember I’ve dreamed of fighting for a gold medal for Team USA. It was really a dream come true to win a world championship and be surrounded by such amazing people.”
Charla Echols | Florida (since 2020)
On playing for Team USA at the 2022 World Games…
“Playing for Team USA this summer was definitely a dream come true. It was pretty cool to play with some of the players I see growing up. It was a special experience for me and my family and I’m like that thankful that I have to be a part of it.”
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