CHATTANOOGA (WRCB/UTC) -- Softball may not be a part of the Olympics this summer in London, but the sport's best athletes will still compete against each other for global bragging rights.
And three University of Tennessee at Chattanooga players will play a part.
Recent graduate Vivian Morimoto and current UTC players Ninjja Suetsugu and Nicole Osterman will all compete in the 2012 World Cup of Softball, which will run from June 28-July 2 in Oklahoma City.
Morimoto and Suetsugu will both play for their home country of Brazil, while Osterman will play for Puerto Rico.
The United States, The Netherlands, Australia and Canada round out the six-team field.
"This is a great honor for these student-athletes to play for their countries," said Lady Mocs' head coach Frank Reed. "They have shown that they can come in to the university and not only work hard to be great softball players, but also learn to conquer the language and make great grades on their way to graduating.
"Now they can go out there and play softball on the national stage, not only representing their country, but also Chattanooga."
Morimoto and Suetsugu, both natives of Sao Paulo, Brazil, began their collegiate careers at Miami-Dade Junior College, where they teamed together to lead the Lady Sharks to the 2010 NJCCAA DI National Championship.
The duo has previous international experience with the Brazil national team during the 2007 and 2009 Pan-American Games.
Osterman just finished her freshman year at UTC after a standout prep career at Osceola High in Kissimmee, Fla. The talented utility player also has previous international experience as a member of the Puerto Rican national team for the 2011 Pan-American Games.
The trio will kick off the tournament on opposite sides Thursday as Puerto Rico takes on Brazil at 1a a.m. ET. Both teams play a nationally televised contest on ESPN2 with Puerto Rico taking on USA at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, and Brazil battling American squad on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.
The placement round is set for Monday, July 2 with the championship game at 10 p.m. on ESPN.
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