Jessica Mendoza joining pro league

CLEVELAND -- Two-time Olympic medalist Jessica Mendoza and several teammates will not play for the U.S. national softball team this year, opting to play professionally in hopes of growing the sport.

Mendoza said Wednesday she and others informed USA Softball this month that they would not attend the U.S. team's June camp so they can play in the National Pro Fastpitch league. Mendoza says it's difficult to play professionally and for the U.S. team.

Fellow Olympians Natasha Watley, Cat Osterman, Monica Abbott, Caitlin Lowe, Lauren Lappin, Andrea Duran and Vicky Galindo also will not play for the U.S.

The national team lost funding from the U.S. Olympic Committee after being dropped from the Olympic program after the 2008 Beijing Games.