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NICKLES OUTPERFORMS BEST IN THE WORLD

Bubba Nickles tops world’s best in several hitting categories.

By Patrick Lujan

She’s the leader of the ‘little sister’ team, but boy, did she show up the big sisters.

Madi ‘Bubba’ Nickles is the most senior player of the USA Junior Women’s National Team and what she did against the world’s best softball teams in the World Cup of Softball XII in Oklahoma City this past week was absolutely remarkable.

Against the best in the world, Bubba did the following in the six games she played against USA, Canada, Australia, Philippines and Puerto Rico twice:

.550 batting average (led the tournament)

1.050 slugging (led the tournament)

1.621 OPS (led the tournament)

2 home runs (tied for most in the tournament)

10 RBI (led the tournament)

Asked if she expected to have quite the performance, Bubba told GSPN, “No I didn’t.”

“In all honesty, I was hitting one-on-one with (UCLA coach and softball legend) Lisa Fernandez for about three hours. Everything she taught me in those three hours was on my mind the whole tournament. I was literally paying attention to pitcher’s tendencies and what pitches they’d throw in certain pitch counts and in the end, it helped out studying the opposing pitchers.”

Talk about dialed in!

“Every time I go up to  bat, I just have this mentality that they don’t look at me as a little sister. I know my team is just as good as any of those teams in the tournament and we deserve the respect.”

At 19-years-old, Bubba is the only player on the Junior team with international experience…all others are first timers.

As the team leader, her focus was building team confidence.

“We all deserve to be on that field and compete against the best teams. At the end of the day, we did earn their respect from the different teams.”

The Junior team would take 5th place out of the eight teams, which included the top four teams in the world (Japan, USA, Canada, Australia).

The top-ranked team from Japan won its second straight World Cup title with a 2-1 win over #2 USA.

SHORTSTOP

“I’ve always been a middle infielder the past two years (with the Junior Nationals), they seem to be more confident putting me at shortstop. Where ever they put me, I’m just gonna give it my all. I’m getting used to it again because I haven’t played shortstop in a year.”

NEXT UP

After this awesome performance, Bubba and her team will head to Clearwater, Florida for the Junior World Championships (19-below) from July 24-30 where they are considered favorites to win the gold.

All the while, Nickles appreciates the support she gets from Guam. “I love all the support from my homeland from so far away.”

 

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QUICK HITS

After a star-studded collegiate career at UCLA, Bubba Nickles turns her focus on the Tokyo Olympics with Team USA after the Bruins were eliminated in the College World Series.

Nickles endured a broken arm on April 7 and worked her way back into the Bruins lineup for the WCWS. She will go down as one of UCLA’s best softball players in its storied history.

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Nine years as Portland Trail Blazers head coach, Terry Stotts and the team mutually part ways.

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