ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Shelby Pendley continues to discover hidden value in her softball equipment.
Pendley, a rising senior at Rio Rancho High, has been named to the 2010-11 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team. She’s one of 17 players who will represent the U.S. at the Pan American Softball Championship (18 and younger) in Bogota, Colombia, in August.
The excursion is the latest softball bonus for Pendley, who already has verbally committed to play collegiately for softball powerhouse Arizona.
“Shelby making the national team is one of the great honors in softball in this state,” said Paul Kohman, who has coached Pendley at RRHS and on her New Mexico Sundancers club team. “She’s a very high-quality player and a great person. She deserves it.”
Pendley was one of 41 players who attended a selection camp for the junior national team last week in Chula Vista, Calif. She came home with few expectations.
“I didn’t hit so well at the tryouts,” Pendley said. “I didn’t think I’d make the team. I was kind of shocked when I did.”
Pendley said the selection camp format afforded players few at-bats. However, Kohman said the national team coaches had seen Pendley play numerous times in summer tournaments.
Pendley, who was named All-State at third base, All-Metro at shortstop and pitched extensively during the recent prep season, hit .558 with 14 home runs and 35 RBIs for Rio Rancho High. She’s played with the Sundancers since age 9.
Pendley is now hoping her softball travels extend beyond South America. The Pan American tournament is a qualifier for the International Softball Federation World Championships in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2011.