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SHALLOTTE—Carly White’s substantial softball skills are taking her halfway around the world.
The West Brunswick High School sophomore will participate in an international fastpitch softball tournament Jan. 16-23 in The Netherlands.
The 16-year-old daughter of Doug and Shelly Etheridge of Ash was chosen for a North American Select Team that will compete in Cup 2008.
The trip to The Netherlands will be White’s first time on an airplane, much less traveling out of the country.
“I’m pretty nervous,” she said last week. “I’m ready to leave and everything, but I think once I go to the plane I will get real nervous.”
White will not be traveling alone. Her mother and an aunt, Johanna Simmons, will accompany her on the trip.
White said she was asked to join the North American Select Team after she was noticed at a Queen of Diamonds South tournament last summer in Rock Hill, S.C.
The selection of athletes was based on talent and attitude, according to a press release. The North American team has a good track record in the Cup tournament with six wins in the last 14 years.
The 2008 event will be played indoors and has commitments from North America, The Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium and Russia.
The North American team is made up of players ages 16-18, is guaranteed at least five games in the tournament and also will play against the Dutch Olympic athletes during the stay.
North America is sending six teams and 54 girls to The Netherlands.
In addition to competing in the tournament, members of the North American team will tour Amsterdam and spend three days in Paris.
White, one of two girls from North Carolina who was picked for the team, said she is looking forward to the entire experience.
“I can’t wait. Just getting to play with somebody different and getting to see everything that’s so different over there and all the sights will be great.”
White, who is 6-foot-3, said she expects to play first base and possibly pitch during the tournament.
She plans to take all of her final exams before she leaves the country and will miss several days of school.
She said she has not met any of the members of her team but knows one other girl who is making the trip.
“I know one girl from Ohio. She played with me in the Queen of Diamonds tournament. She was our pitcher.”
The group will be in Europe for eight days.
“We’re going to get as much done as we can in a couple of days,” White said. “At first my mom shook it off like we didn’t need to go. I talked her into it. It’s a good opportunity and a once in a lifetime thing.”
White started playing T-ball when she was 4 years old and later moved to baseball and softball.
In addition to playing school ball, White plays in the Brunswick County Dixie Belles Softball League and is a member of the Carolina Travelers travel team. She has been with the Travelers since she was 12.
White started on West Brunswick’s varsity softball team as a freshman and had a productive season.
She batted .238 in the regular season with six doubles, two triples, four home runs, 12 RBI and 15 runs scored.
White led the team in homers and ranked second in doubles, triples and runs scored. Her .420 on base percentage ranked third on the team and her .587 slugging percentage was second best.
White said she is looking forward to the upcoming high school season. The Lady Trojans return seven starters from a team that won 11 games and advanced to the second round of state 3A playoffs in 2007.