OKLAHOMA CITY – After helping to lead the USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch National Team to a seventh Border Battle title, Travis Clark (Kenosha, Wis.) has been named the 2016 USA Softball Male Slow Pitch Athlete of the Year. Announced today by USA Softball, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, Clark proved to be a steady force in the circle for the United States while also leading the team at the plate.
“I really don’t know what to say to express my gratitude to USA Softball,” said Clark. “I’ve never been huge on personal achievements because I play the game for my teammates, coaches and the sponsors who put us on the field, but to even be considered, let alone selected as the USA Softball Slow Pitch Male Athlete of the Year is an incredible honor. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I’d be mentioned in the same breath as some of the great players who have previously won this award but here we are. It’s been an incredible ride that I look forward to continuing.”
As a member of the 2016 USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch National Team roster, Clark competed in Border Battle VIII in Oklahoma City, Okla., where he helped the Red, White and Blue to a 4-1 record during the three-day event. A member of the team since 2013, Clark got the start in three of Team USA’s games, including the highly anticipated Border Battle VIII and Slow Pitch Showdown. While he pitched the U.S. to three wins, he also had an outstanding performance at the plate. Nearly perfect at the plate with a .857 (12-for-14) batting average, Clark went perfect at the plate in two of USA’s games while combining for an incredible 1.857 slugging percentage. Against the USA Softball Futures Slow Pitch National Team in the Slow Pitch Showdown, Clark went 3-for-4, notching two home runs while picking up three RBI and scoring four times. In Border Battle VIII, he again went 3-for-4 with one home run and two RBI while scoring twice.
“Travis exemplifies and embodies the spirit of what it means to be a Team USA player,” said USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch National Team Head Coach Steve Shortland. “He’s been in our program for a number of years and has been a tremendous ambassador for our sport. Once mostly known for being a good pitcher, Travis has now also become a well-respected offensive player and his talents both on the mound and at the plate were pivotal to our success in 2016. He epitomizes the label ‘field general’ and I know when I hand him the ball to start a game, we are in good hands. He’s a tremendous leader and extremely worthy of this honor, and I am very proud of him.”
For the summer, Clark finished Border Battle VIII with 12 hits, including four home runs, 11 RBI and 10 runs scored. You can find more information about Travis Clark as well as complete results from Border Battle VIII at USASoftball.com.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 70 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million. USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch. USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships. The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game.
As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.