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Israel Softball team heads for international competition

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania – For the first time ever, the Israel Softball Association (ISA) is fielding a 12U Israeli national team for one of the biggest international stages for youth softball, the European Massimo Romero Youth Tournament (EMRYT) taking place in Italy from August 10-13. Joining the team are players from all over the United States, as well as multiple players from Israel. 

An event of the World Baseball Softball Confederation Europe (WBSC Europe), the European governing body for the sports of baseball and softball – the tournament is the European championship for softball players 13 and under. Team Israel is comprised of players of Israeli citizenship and U.S.-born players with Jewish or Israeli heritage. 

“We are excited to have assembled the first 12U Israel National Softball Team ever to compete at the EMRYT tournament in Italy this summer,” said Ami Baran, executive director of ISA, who has also held leadership positions with European Softball Federation and the World Baseball and Softball Confederation. “For decades we have worked to build Israel’s youth program, and it is international opportunities like these that help to establish our country as a true competitor on the softball field.” 

The team roster includes:  Maayan Baran, Hadera, Israel; Lilly Katz, Hoboken, N.J.; Sophia Lombardo, Philadelphia, Pa.; Shelby Rosenmayer, Los Angeles, Calif.; Julia Siegel, Los Angeles, Calif.; Mia Siegel, Los Angeles, Calif.; Grace Stark, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Ava Steinberg, Parkland, Fla.; Daniella Tacher, Hadera, Israel; Olivia Weiss, Parkland, Fla.; Izzy Zober, Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Jojo Zober Appling, Portland, Ore.

“The team includes a great group of talented players who are excited to represent the Jewish homeland of Israel,” said Yarone Zober, one of the team’s lead organizers. “The teammates have been connecting weekly via Zoom to bond as a team, and they are looking forward to practicing together at the Olympic training facility in Rome in just a few weeks.”

Established in 2012, the European Massimo Romero Youth Tournament (EMRYT), held annually in Collecchio, Italy, is the European Cup for the youngest European softball players, ages 13 and under. The Trophy is named after Massimo Romeo, European Softball Federation Hall of Famer, who passed away on Sept. 5, 2021 after a life dedicated to softball and its development. 

For more information, to contribute to the Israel Softball Association, or to buy your own Israel Softball gear visit, or contact Yarone Zober at (412) 983-7663 or

MAIN PHOTO: The first 12U Israel National Softball Team ever to compete at the European Massimo Romero Youth (TEMRY) tournament in Italy this summer.

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