Kelley Renner of the University of California San Diego softball team has been named to the New Zealand National Softball Team. The squad, also known as the White Sox, was chosen by Head Coach Kevin Gettins, who took over the helm of the team in 2015.
“I was very excited [when I found out I made the team],” said Renner. “I didn’t know if I was going to make it because of my injury recovery. They can’t obviously see me because I’m in America and they’re in New Zealand, but it shows that the coaches a lot of faith and trust in me to get the job done and represent the country.”
This is the second-consecutive selection for Renner, who was also named to the team in 2018. Last year, the team traveled to Canada and Japan for the World Championships, which teams attend in order to prepare for the upcoming qualifier.
“Playing with girls who are a lot older is a really cool life experience,” Renner shared about her time with the team in 2018. “All of us are together for the same reason: we’re representing a country of our heritage.”
Including New Zealand, eight teams will compete in this year’s Asia/Oceania Olympic Qualifier in hopes of securing a spot at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. The qualifier, which will be hosted by the Chinese Softball Association, will take place from Sept. 24-29 in Shanghai, China. New Zealand and Australia will represent the Oceania region, while the top six finishers at the Asia Games will also earn spots in the qualifier.
“Playing at a whole different level that’s a step above what I’m used to [is something I’m looking forward to], and obviously the professionalism of playing with the girls,” said Renner about the upcoming experience. “We know how to get the job done. Overall, it’s a really cool experience and I couldn’t be more excited.”