Former Arizona ace pitchers Taylor McQuillin and Danielle O’Toole, two key components in the Wildcats reaching the NCAA Super Regional Final in 2017, are chasing their Olympic softball dreams with Mexico.
Both are of Mexican descent and have gained clearance from the World Baseball Softball Federation to compete for Team Mexico.
McQuillin commented on her background of Mexican descent in a recent Arizona Desert Swarm article.
“I’ve dreamt about (playing in the Olympics) since I was a little kid,” McQuillin told reporter Ryan Kelapire. “Just being able to get a chance, even if it wasn’t for USA, to represent the other side of my family with the Mexican National Team and being able to try to compete for an Olympic spot and go to the Olympics in 2020, that’s huge for me just to be able to say that I was on an Olympic team.”
McQuillin did not allow a run in two innings of relief Saturday in a 7-0 loss against Team USA in the USA Softball International Cup at Columbus, Ga. She struck out two batters, walked none and allowed three hits.
Arizona catcher Dejah Mulipola, the 2019 NFCA National Catcher of the Year, walked in two plate appearances for Team USA.
O’Toole’s mother is the former Dianna Moreno, who set many pitching records while at UC San Diego from 1988 to 1991.
O’Toole proudly announced her membership with Team Mexico via Twitter on Thursday:
Viva México! It’s official.
Team Mexico 🇲🇽 pic.twitter.com/XyYp447ss2
O’Toole has pitched seven innings in one appearance for Mexico, which is 5-4 in the tournament. She faced Japan on Thursday, allowing seven hits with one earned run in a 2-0 loss. She had two strikeouts and no walks.
McQuillin, who led Arizona in the circle to a Women’s College World Series appearance this season, has pitched 12 innings with one start and two relief appearances. She has an ERA of 2.33 with 13 strikeouts and three walks.
McQuillin and O’Toole will next represent Mexico in the Pan American Games Aug. 4-11 in Lima, Peru. The Americans Olympic Qualifier is Aug. 25-Sept. 1 at British Columbia, Canada.
Mulipola will also play with Team USA (which has already qualified for the Olympics) in the Pan American Games. She will take part in the Japan Cup with the American team in Takasaki, Japan, on Aug. 30-Sept. 1.
Nine different current or former Wildcats are competing this summer internationally or professionally, representing five different countries and three different National Pro Fastpitch teams. Eight of those Wildcats are representing five different countries in international competitions in pursuit and preparation for the 2020 Olympics.
The others aside from McQuillin, O’Toole and Mulipolia:
Team Israel: Vanessa Foreman and Tamara Statman (with former Arizona player and current director of recruiting operations Stacey Iveson as head coach).
Team Philippines: Chelsea Suitos and Lauren Young.
Team Venezuela: Michelle Floyd.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.