The Women’s Baseball World Cup kicked off on Wednesday, with Japan hoping to defend their five consecutive gold medals and the United States looking to win their first gold medal since 2006. With the bi-annual tournament being held in Florida this go-around, they’re also hoping to do it on their hope turf.
Before the USA Women’s team kicks off their tournament against Puerto Rico tonight at 6 p.m. EST, I talked to a few of the players on the roster to get to know them. Ashton Lansdell (the youngest player on the roster at 17 years old), Meggie Meidlinger, and Marti Sementelli (both National Team fixtures) all answered some fun questions as they begin their chase for a championship they’ve all been working hard to win.
What is your earliest baseball memory?
Lansdell: I don’t actually remember it but I’ve heard about it. My mom tells the story all the time of my first T-ball game when I was really little I hit a home run my first time to the plate. First time up.
Sementelli: I was born in Massachusetts so everything was indoors when I was a a toddler. So [my dad] would just kind of give me one of those ... they’re kind of outdated now but those little souvenir bats, those old fashioned ones? He would throw me these little balls and I would hit them in the house. That kind of got me started and then it progressed after that.
Meidlinger: My earliest baseball memory is probably when I was four or five years old just playing catch in the street with all the neighborhood boys.
If they made a movie about this Women’s World Cup, who would you want to play you?
Lansdell: Oh let me think of someone badass ... I’m bad at actresses. Who was Deadpool’s girlfriend? [Morena Baccarin] Yeah her. I’d want her to play me. I was just watching that the other day.
Sementelli: From an actress standpoint, probably Jennifer Lawrence. I think she’s cool in all the Hunger Games. She’s a pretty good athlete as far as The Hunger Games goes so she’d be good.
Meidlinger: I’ve always been told I look like ... who’s the actress from The Newsroom? The athletic, sassy one? Why am I drawing a blank on her name. The one who does all the statistics and stuff. I’ve been told I look like her and she’s also BA and athletic and can kick some butt at the same time. I’m pulling it up, it’s on the tip of my tongue. Olivia Munn! I think we would totally hit it off too. I think we would be competitive together because I feel like she’s a very competitive person.
If the US team wins this on home soil, how would you celebrate?
Lansdell: I’d want to do like 100 backflips in a row but I can’t do that. On the field I’d be jumping up and down all crazy, arms and legs going everywhere. Then we’d have our big dog pile and all that. Then back to the hotel to just hang out and take pictures with our gold medals. Gotta get those on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter the whole deal. Right away. I need to be on TV [laughs].
Sementelli: I think just with our team. We don’t get to hang out that much off the field, so it’d be nice to be hanging around on the beach. We’re actually staying right by the water so it’s really nice. Just celebrating and we have a lot of friends and family in the area, which doesn’t really happen because usually the tournaments are far — usually in an Asian country — so we don’t get to share that experience. So it would be nice to have it kind of come full circle for the people who helped us train and make sacrifices. Having the USA people come together.
I should say “we’re going to Disney World” like everyone else because it’s right there. We’ve thought about it since everyone says that when they win a championship and it’s realistic because we’re close.
Meidlinger: I’m a people person so probably just being with my teammates and partying up with my teammates, being with them. We’ve all been working so hard for this for so long and many of us have been together and known each for years upon years so just being together with my teammates.
What is your most embarrassing moment on the field?
Every player answered this in the negative, with multiple women barely being able to think about something that would come close to qualifying as embarrassing. I’m telling you this because if I have to feel like a complete klutz remembering my myriad on-field embarrassments while pro athletes can’t even think of something that might count, then so does everyone else.
Then again, that’s why they’re on the Women’s National Team and we’re not.
What is your favorite clubhouse pump up song?
Lansdell: Bounce With That by YBN Nahmir. He’s a newer artist and it’s a great one.
Sementelli: Personally for a long time I’ve liked the song Headstrong by Trapt. That’s a song that gets me really in the zone, you could say. It gets me pumped no matter what I’m doing, whether it’s a workout or just something in my normal day. That’s definitely my go to.
Meidlinger: My favorite pump up song is Mi Gente. I forget who it’s by [Ed. note: The song is by J Balvin and Willy William] but it’s a Spanish song that’s pumped me up for the past year. You turn that thing on and I’m dancing and getting pumped up all over the place.
Do you have any sports superstitions that you follow?
Lansdell: I always eat sugar before a game so like half a bag of Skittles. That’s how I get my energy, I have to be some kind of sugared up.
Sementelli: I always put my left sock on first, then my right. Then my left shoe on first, then my right. Then if I’m walking to the mound I make sure I don’t step onto the chalk line or anything like that. You have a system you’ve just gotta stick with it.
Meidlinger: I’m very particular, I kind of always do the same thing. If I’m in the groove with something I don’t really change my routine at all even in terms of what I’m wearing and how I’m wearing it and all things like that. Staying in the same routine, same methodology each day.
How many batters, in your opinion, does it take to bat around in an inning?
Lansdell: So when everyone’s gone up and the person that led off bats again. That’s batting around.
Sementelli: I feel like this is a trick question. I want to say nine. When that ninth person comes around, and you get back to the leadoff batter, that counts.
Meidlinger: All nine. Once the leadoff batter of that inning is back up we’ve batted around.