(USA Baseball)

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced on Thursday it will jointly host a Women's National Team Development Program (NTDP) with Baseball Canada in 2017. The event will take place from August 6-14 at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Washington, D.C.

In addition to its joint on-field programming, USA Baseball and Baseball Canada will cooperatively host a girl's baseball clinic on Saturday, August 12, from 9-11:30 a.m. The clinic will be hosted by DC Girls Baseball and will be open to girls age seven to 16. Details on the clinic and participant registration can be found at DCGirlsBaseball.com/USACanada.

This is the first time USA Baseball has partnered with an international national governing body in a cooperative effort to prepare and develop future national team members.

"The USA Baseball Women's National Team Development Program is crucial to the continued growth and development of our Women's National Team," said Ashley Bratcher, Senior Director of Baseball Operations at USA Baseball. "We are eager to provide this opportunity for our future national team members to train in preparation for the World Baseball Softball Confederation Women's World Cup in 2018.

"Partnering with Baseball Canada for this developmental event reinforces our commitment to the proliferation of the women's game on a global scale," continued Bratcher. "The benefits of exposing our players to other elite international athletes cannot be understated and we look forward to getting on the field with a historically talented Team Canada."

The USA Baseball Women's National Team Development Program is offered in years a women's international baseball competition is not presented and it provides athletes an opportunity to connect with USA Baseball staff to better prepare for future national team experiences. The program includes skill development sessions, off-field education seminars, exhibition games and exposure to the Women's National Team staff and task force.

"Baseball Canada is excited for the opportunity to partner with USA Baseball on an event that will assist in the growth and development of our National Team program," said André Lachance, Canada's Women's National Team Manager. "It is imperative in non-World Cup years to provide our athletes with a competitive environment that will foster future national team success. We feel that we are achieving this against a quality opponent like the United States."

Four-time Women's National Team Pitching Coach Matt Weagle will serve as the Field Coordinator for the 2017 USA Baseball Women's NTDP. Under his direction, teams held a 2.07 and 2.16 ERA in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and a 1.29 ERA in 2016. Currently the pitching coach at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Weagle pitched at Franklin Pierce University from 2000 - 2003 and was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2003 MLB Amateur Draft.

USA Baseball will invite 30 identified athletes to participate in the 2017 Women's NTDP that will be international age-eligible for the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup (born on or before December 31, 2002). Identification events for the 2018 Women's National Team will begin with the Women's National Open next spring.

The 2017 Women's NTDP is sanctioned by the WBSC. For more information on the Women's National Team and the National Team Development Program, follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter.