Notre Dame grad Jonathan Lynch earns spot on men's softball junior national team

Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Jonathan Lynch lays down a bunt during a baseball game at Notre Dame in May. (ADAM VOGLER)

Jonathan Lynch developed an interest in fast-pitch softball while attending tournaments that his father, Paul, competed at.

That initial introduction to fast-pitch softball ultimately led to Jonathan Lynch reaching the sport's pinnacle for his age group.

Lynch, a Cape Girardeau native and 2012 Notre Dame Regional High School graduate, was named to the 2012 USA Softball Junior Men's National Team earlier this month.

The 17-member squad, which was selected by the Amateur Softball Association of America, will travel to Parana, Argentina, in November to compete in the IX International Softball Federation Junior Men's World Championships (Under-19).

"I was so happy and excited when I found out," Lynch said about being selected to the team. "It's a privilege. I'm thankful for the opportunity."

Paul Lynch was a multisport athlete at Notre Dame who later played baseball at Southeast Missouri State. Paul has competed at the elite level of fast-pitch softball for years, participating in both national and world tournaments.

"I remember going to lots of tournaments with my dad when I was younger," said Lynch, who played baseball, basketball and soccer at Notre Dame and will compete in baseball for Lyon College in Batesville, Ark. "I started playing in a league in Kelso. I've always just really enjoyed the game."

Jonathan Lynch improved enough in fast-pitch softball that he was invited to a national-level training session in Rolla, Mo., two summers ago.

Then Lynch was invited to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in California for two weeks of training last summer.

That led to this summer, when Lynch traveled to Utah in June and Michigan in July to participate in selection camps for players hoping to earn their way onto the final Junior Men's roster.

"It's been an awesome experience meeting all the guys on the team this summer," Lynch said. "It's a great group of guys. I'm looking forward to playing with them again."

Lynch primarily is a first baseman in fast-pitch softball, the same position he played for Notre Dame's baseball team.

"There are definitely similarities and differences," Lynch said about baseball and softball. "But overall there are a lot more similarities than differences."

The Junior Men's World Championship, scheduled for Nov. 1 through 10, will feature 15 countries. Australia is the four-time defending champion. The USA Junior Men's National Team will be looking for its first World Championship title.

"We're very excited about this group of young men," USA coach Tim Lyon said in a release. "We feel this is the best Junior Men's team that we've put together, and we're really looking forward to the opportunity to go to Parana and compete for the World Championship."

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