After a three-day tryout camp in Chula Vista, CA, USA Softball has selected a group of athletes that will compete at the 2005 Pacific Rim Sports Summit in Seattle in June. This team has many familiar faces from the 2004 National Team that took gold in Athens during the Olympic Games.
Twelve of the 15 players from Athens will compete in Seattle along with the three alternates from the 2004 National Team. Making up the core group includes three-time Olympic gold medalist Laura Berg (Santa Fe Springs, CA) and Lisa Fernandez (Long Beach, CA) and two-time Olympic gold medalist Stacey Nuveman (La Verne, CA).
Adding to the core group are 2004 Olympic gold medalist Jennie Finch (La Mirada, CA), Amanda Freed (Cypress, CA), Lovieanne Jung (Fountain Valley, CA), Kelly Kretschman (Indian Harbour Beach, FL), Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, CA), Tairia Flowers (Tucson, AZ), Cat Osterman (Houston, TX), Jenny Topping (Whittier, CA) and Natasha Watley (Irvine, CA). 2004 Olympic alternates Jaime Clark (Tustin, CA), Nicole Giordano (Saugus, CA) and Lauren Lappin (Anaheim, CA) round out the 15 players who were in Athens this past summer.
New faces added for this event are pitcher Leigh Ann Ellis (Barboursville, WV), infielder Vicky Galindo (Union City, CA) and pitcher Dana Sorenson (San Diego, CA).
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Leah O’Brien-Amico (Chino Hills, CA) and Lori Harrigan (Las Vegas, NV) announced their retirement from National Team competition following the 2004 Olympic Games. (Olympian Crystl Bustos, whose prodigious home runs were a highlight of the Athens Games, did not participate in the recent camp.)
These players have been selected for this event only and must go through another team camp in mid-June to earn a spot on the 2005 National Team or Elite Team.
Coaches for the Pacific Rim Sports Summit are head coach Mike Candrea (Casa Grande, AZ), assistant coach Ken Eriksen (Temple Terrace, FL), assistant coach Jay Miller (Starkville, MS) and assistant coach John Rittman (San Jose, CA).
USA Softball Women’s National Teams performance at the 2004 Olympic Games was among the most dominating of any in Olympic history. The USA rolled through the field with a perfect 9-0 record while outscoring their opponents 51-1. This programs ability to bring home the gold in World Championships, the Pan American Games and the Olympic Games is unchallenged, with a total of sixteen. The USA Softball Women’s National Team won the first Olympic gold medal in the sport’s history during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA, and defended its gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and again at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. The USA Softball Women's National Team, which has won the past five consecutive World Championships, the past five consecutive Pan Am Games and the past three Olympic gold medals, has been the undisputed No. 1 team in the world for the past 18 years. As the National Governing Body of Softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting, women’s men’s, junior girls’ and junior boys’ National Teams that compete in international and domestic competitions.
The following is a complete list of athletes by hometown and college:
Player, Hometown (College)
Laura Berg, Santa Fe Springs, CA (Fresno State)
Jaime Clark, Tustin, CA (Washington)
Leigh Ann Ellis, Barboursville, WV (South Florida)
Lisa Fernandez, Long Beach, CA (UCLA)
Jennie Finch, La Mirada, CA (Arizona)
Tairia Flowers, Tucson, AZ (UCLA)
Amanda Freed, Cypress, CA (UCLA)
Vicky Galindo, Union City, CA (*California)
Lovieanne Jung, Fountain Valley, CA (Arizona)
Nicole Giordano, Saugus, CA (Arizona)
Kelly Kretschman, Indian Harbour Beach, FL (Alabama)
Lauren Lappin, Anaheim, CA (*Stanford)
Jessica Mendoza, Camarillo, CA (Stanford)
Stacey Nuveman, La Verne, CA (UCLA)
Cat Osterman, Houston, TX (*Texas)
Dana Sorensen, San Diego, CA (Stanford)
Jenny Topping, Whittier, CA (Cal-State Fullerton)
Natasha Watley, Irvine, CA (UCLA)
*- Currently attending college