East Ascension High teen selected to USA softball team

ASCENSION PARISH — One Ascension parish teen has earned the right to represent her country on one of the biggest stages.

East Ascension sophomore Cayden Tullier, 16, was recently selected to the USA U18 Women’s National Softball Team. Tullier was one of 16 softball athletes across the country selected to compete.

Tullier was the only player selected from Region 4, which incorporates Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama. There are 10 regions across the country.

“I was very excited, and I was very shocked at first,” Tullier said. “It means a lot to me because, finally, all my hard work is paying off. I work very hard, and knowing that eventually, your hard work pays off means a lot to me.”

Tullier turned 16 in November, which makes her one of the younger players on the U18 squad. The selection process started at the Region 4 tryout last May. From there, USA Softball invited Tullier to the USA High Performance Program (HPP) National Selection Event in Vero Beach, Florida in December.

Known as “The Pipeline to the Women’s National Team,” the HPP identifies a pool of athletes to train, compete and represent USA Softball through domestic and international competition.

The East Ascension teen more than held her own at the event. She batted .800 with two triples and two doubles over that weekend.

Cayden’s mother, Natasha Tullier, said she didn’t think this level of success would come this fast for her daughter. Cayden is one of the youngest members of the team despite only playing softball for the last six years.

All the hard work of the last six years came to fruition on Jan. 26 when Natasha received a joyful email.

“I have been crying since 1:58 on Friday (Jan. 26) when we received the email,” Natasha said with a chuckle. “I’m just trying to soak it all in because she does work super hard. She’s very talented. And her dad and I knew that, you know, one day, something big would happen for her. We’re over the moon. We’re speechless. We’re so proud of her. The community and her school are super proud of her.”

As a freshman last softball season, Cayden was named First-Team All-District, First-Team All-Metro, as well as East Ascension Player of the Year and East Ascension Defensive Player of the Year. She batted .454 with 10 home runs last season.

Cayden also plays travel ball for the Louisiana Blazers Elite out of Walker. She has been playing with the organization since she was 11. In her free time, she likes to bass fish, hunt, and help other girls learn how to play softball.

“I just really love the sport. I love my teammates,” Cayden said. “I love the family that I was able to create with the sport and all the life lessons I was able to learn while playing the sport. It really teaches you to face adversity against yourself. It teaches you discipline. It teaches you to be a team, team player and work with other people. It teaches you respect and how to work hard. It teaches you many, many things, and that’s why I love it so much.”

Tullier and the U18 USA team will compete in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s Softball World Cup Group Stage event in Dallas, Texas on Aug. 29-Sept. 2.

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