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For softball's future: On leaving the U.S. team

Jessica Mendoza, a two-time Olympic medalist in softball, announced today that she and her 2008 Olympic teammates are leaving the U.S. national team to play exclusively for the National Pro Fastpitch league. Their hope is that one day soon, female softball players will be able to play the sport they love for a living.

Updated: January 25, 2011, 10:17 AM ET
By Jessica Mendoza

Since the International Olympic Committee voted to remove softball from the Olympic Games for 2012 and beyond, the sport has not been the same on the international level. However, here in the U.S., the sport has continued to grow on the youth level in huge numbers, from T-ball through college.

In my work as a college softball analyst for ESPN, I have seen this amazing game regularly outperform regular-season college baseball games in terms of television ratings. Softball is dearly ...

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