In Santiago, Chile, the Gators softball program will be well represented at the 2023 Pan American Games, with former players and coaches joining the U.S. and Puerto Rico teams.
Amanda Lorenz, a four-time NFCA All-American, will serve as an assistant coach for USA Softball. She will join Florida head coach Tim Walton who is serving as the team’s manager. Additionally, Aleshia Ocasio, a two-time NFCA All-American and current Gators senior is set to compete for Puerto Rico. Former manager Karla Claudio Rivera will also be apart of the Puerto Rico roster.
Softball is not the only sport with Florida Gators representation, as Kayla DiCello took home gold for the U.S. Gymnastics team.
Tim Walton Steps into Team USA Gear
Team USA kicked off their Pan-Am run on Sunday as head coach Tim Walton takes a quick break from the Gators to coach at the Pan American Games. The U.S will be defending its 2019 title and look to win their 12th gold medal in the Games’ history. The squad is led by Montana Fouts, Rachel Garcia, and former Florida star Amanda Lorenz.
In addition to excitement revolving around the Pan American games, the team is also excited about softball joining the Olympics.
“I’m ecstatic about that,” Walton said as he sat for an interview with Kyle Crooks. “They can’t play baseball in the Olympics without softball. We’re the United States of America. It’s our national pastime.”
En route to surpassing 1,000 career victories, Walton has made 11 appearances in the Women’s College World Series and won two NCAA championships at Florida. Walton’s impressive resume resulted in his addition to the USA Softball coaching staff nearly a decade ago. He served as third base coach and defense coach on three gold-medal teams.
Softball events at the Pan American Games began October 29 at the Centro de Béisbol y Sóftbol Stadium in Chile. The medal round is set to conclude Nov. 4, if the U.S. is able to get that far. The United States will compete in Group A against the host country Chile, Venezuela, and Mexico. Puerto Rico will compete in Group B against Peru, Cuba, and Canada.
Team USA dominated Chile in their opening game, 18-0. They followed up with another convincing victory against Venezuela, 9-2. Next up for the U.S. is Mexico on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Puerto Rico has started 1-0 and now takes on Cuba on Tuesday.