PITTSBURG — This summer, Pittsburg Softball’s Sydney Linahan took on a rare challenge for a high school athlete, traveling to Italy with America’s Team for a summer tour.

“I really enjoyed Italy. it is definitely not something everyone gets to go and do. I am very thankful for everyone who helped make this trip possible.” said Linahan.

America’s Team is an organization that for the past 30 years have given athletes a chance to learn about other cultures and countries through sports.

“It was awesome seeing how different the culture is, from here in America to Italy. There are many things we take for granted that you have to spend extra on in Italy.” said Linahan.

After accepting the invite from her coach at the Best of Mokan all-state game, Linahan’s journey began with her first trip outside of the US.

“The trip there and back was extremely long. We went from St. Louis to Atlanta, which was about an hour long, then from Atlanta it was 8 hours to Milan. The way over there was extremely scary because I've never flown overseas. Then the way home was 10 hours from Rome to Atlanta, which wasn’t as bad. I slept through half of it.” said Linahan.

Once in Italy, Linahan and her team got to play against various age groups, including one team that featured a pitcher who was in her mid-twenties.

“We went 3-3 over the tour. We faced some really good pitching and some good offenses as well. The last game we played in Rome, we mixed up our teams and really had the chance to interact with each other. It was good competition.” added Linahan.

Linahan gained valuable experience throughout her trip in Italy.

“I really enjoyed almost everything, but one moment that stood out was seeing how pretty and clean the lakes are there. On the second day we took a train to Lake Como, which was so high up you could see most of the lake and get an awesome view of the town, which was really cool.” said Linahan.

“I also enjoyed seeing the Colosseum. I have heard people talk about it but it was cool actually seeing it in person.” said Linahan.