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Perham’s Allie Doll representing Team USA in Italy

Perham’s Allie Doll hits a pitch during Seection 8AA playoff action. Doll has been selected to play for one of two USA teams in Italy in August. Jason Groth/FOCUS

Perham-It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for Perham graduate Allie Doll. The star shortstop will have the opportunity to see how her game measures up internationally when she dons a Team USA jersey to play for two weeks in Italy.

Doll helped lead the Yellowjackets to a share of the Mid-State Conference title in her senior year and will continue her softball career at Mayville State University.

Doll, graduated in May, is participating on one of two USA teams playing in Italy as part of the American International Sports Teams program.

Doll outlasted more than 500 players during the selection process to be named on one of the two teams.

She was spotted at a national tournament for her play on a  Fargo summer team, during the 2014 season. Doll said everything clicked at that tournament.

“I don’t know what happened but something just clicked. It was the best tournament of my life. I hit more than .600 for the four-day tournament,” Doll said. “After our final game, three college coaches came up to me afterwards. I think that might be the reason why I was invited to play on this team.”

Doll will be leaving on Sunday, Aug. 2 to meet the team in New York, before traveling to Italy.

“We spend our first night in Rome. We don’t spend the night in the same city twice and play games every other day,” Doll said. “On our off- days, we have tours and practice.”

Doll remembered vividly her first thought when receiving word that she was selected. She thought it was a scam.

Allie talked with her brothers, Tyler and Taylor, and was assured that it wasn’t a scam.

“We knew a couple of baseball players that have done it before, so we knew it was a legit thing,” Perham Head Softball Coach Tyler Doll said. “She talked about it, decided to do it and it’s going to be a challenge. It’s going to be fun and it is fun for a Perham softball player to do something like that.”

Allie said yes to the selection; however, she had to survive the cut down portion. It started with more than 500 players and went down to 200, eventually making it through to the final selection.

“I didn’t really want to tell anyone that I was making the cuts because I was scared that I wouldn’t make it,” Doll said. “I ended up being the only girl from Minnesota. There is no one from North or South Dakota. I didn’t tell anyone until they sent me the actual roster. It was so cool seeing my name on there.”

Doll will be the lone Minnesotan represented on the two teams, a fact that surprised her.

“That’s the part that got me. I’m from a town of 3,000 people, and there are girls from towns like Minneapolis,” Doll said. “I’ve played with girls that should be playing with me, but they didn’t get picked.”

Doll said it was “insane” when she opened up that letter, and part of a childhood dream coming true.

“I remember when I was really little and I always told my parents that I would play for Team USA,” Doll said. “It’s a big dream that you never think is going to come true. I remember texting my brothers, sending them the rosters and freaking out.”

Doll was a mainstay in the Perham lineup since cracking the varsity team as a ninth grader. She will be playing her natural position of shortstop, something that was cut short during her senior season due to an injury to Mara Leslie, the team’s starting pitcher.

“She is a really good hitter. Pitching wise, we are going to miss her more than we think,” Tyler Doll said. “As a freshman she was talented and knew the game. She really started to become a good hitter. I’m an infielder myself and watching her take some great steps has been really cool. That’s probably been my favorite part.”

Tyler said it will be fun to see how she will adjust playing against players from other parts of the world.

“I think it is going to be cool to see what other parts of the country play like,” Tyler said. “It’s a great opportunity, and she is the first one from Perham to do that. We have some solid girls on this team, and it would be cool to see if we can build on this. She just loves playing softball, and I’m happy she gets an opportunity like this.”

Allie said she is excited to go on a boat tour through some of the cities in Italy. She will be traveling to Rome and Venice. One of her fears of the trip is the flight, which will last nine hours.

Doll has connected with some of her teammates via Twitter and other social networking sites.

The event will feature games every other day and they will play a tournament at the end of their two week stay.

Doll said she is looking forward to the competition that she will face on this trip to Italy.

“I think it’s going to be just like my summer team but a step higher,” Doll said. “These girls are going to be good.”

Doll said it will be a nice tune up for her to make the next step at the college level.

“I’m really excited. I think we get back on Aug. 17, and I leave for college on the 19,” Doll said. “It’s going to be non-stop playing softball. We have our first college scrimmage on the 23. It’s going to be insane.”

Doll is looking forward to the day the Team USA apparel arrives. Doll said the uniform and team apparel should arrive by the end of July.

“I’m going to take lots of pictures. The apparel is supposed to come at the end of July,” Doll said. “I don’t know what number I am, but it says Team USA on it.”

Doll will take off for Italy from New York on Aug 4, returning on Aug. 15.

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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