OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) announced today the schedule for the 2008 “Bound 4 Beijing” Tour which will feature the 2008 USA Softball Women’s’ National Team competing in over 40 cities in preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The tour will kick off February 9 with a game against back-to-back National Champion, the University of Arizona Wildcats.
“The Amateur Softball Association is proud to be able to organize the Bound 4 Beijing Tour for the National Team as well as for the softball enthusiasts across the U.S.,” said ASA Executive Director Ron Radigonda. “It’s going to be an exciting year for our women’s program as they look to a fourth-consecutive Gold Medal and what better way to get it started than with a tour across the United States. Our local associations have done a great job in hosting these stops, providing the opportunity for our team to compete against the best teams in the country on American soil.”
The 2008 Women’s National Team, who will travel to Beijing in August to defend their three gold-medals, will make 42 stops across the country competing in over 60 games. The team will compete against NCAA Division I opponents, Regional All-Star teams as well as International Competition.
“We’re excited to be able to travel across the country and showcase our talented team and hopefully get everyone excited for the Olympic Games,” said Cat Osterman who will be making her second tour. “Some of the most talented softball players of the world are in the United states so it will be good to get out there and face some of the top athletes in the sport. It’s a great way to prepare for the ultimate stage, the Olympics”.
Highlighting the tour will be six-consecutive weekly national televised games on ESPN2 in April and May along with four other games slated for July, rounding out over 20 hours of softball programming on the ESPN family of networks.
The team will also return to the venue where they have secured back–to-back World Cup Titles as they will make two stops in Oklahoma City at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex, March 24-26 and June 6-8. The six games in Oklahoma City will be a part of the televised package including an International match up against a 2008 Olympic opponent on June 8.
“The Bound 4 Beijing Tour is great exposure for not only the team but also for the sport of softball. It provides us an opportunity to play in front of fans that may not otherwise have the chance to see us compete,” says head Coach Mike Candrea. “It’s a long haul as we will play six months of competitive softball but in the end it will help us prepare for our ultimate goal, a fourth-consecutive Gold Medal.”
In between all the game, the team will also gather together three times for training camps in various locations. After the final game of the Tour in Irvine, Calif. the team will travel to Beijing on Aug. 4 for the Olympic Games. Competition will start Aug. 12 with the Gold Medal Game being played on Aug. 21.
2008 Bound 4 Beijing Schedule
Jan. 29-Feb. 11 Australia Various International Opponents
Feb. 19 Tucson, Ariz. University of Arizona
Feb. 21-23 Palm Springs, Calif. Various D1 Opponents
Feb. 29- March 2 Altamonte Springs, Fla. Various D1 Opponents
March 4 Miami, Fla. D1 Opponents
March 6-8 Clearwater, Fla. Various D1 Opponents
March 19-21 Fullerton, Calif. Various D1 Opponents
March 24 Oklahoma City, Okla. Oklahoma State
March 25 Oklahoma City, Okla. Oklahoma
March 26 Oklahoma City, Okla. Northwestern
April 6 Las Cruces, NM ASA Regional All-Stars
April 10 Greensboro, NC UNC-Greensboro
April 12 Knoxville, Tenn. University of Tennessee
April 15 Birmingham, Ala. University of Alabama
April 17 Ridgeland, Miss. Mississippi State
April 19 Sulfur, La. ULL
May 3 Plant City, Fla. ASA Regional All-Stars
May 6 Ann Arbor, Mich. University of Michigan
May 10 Bowie City, MD Washington Glory - NPF
May 16 Visalia, Calif. ASA Regional All-Stars
May 18 Santa Rosa, Calif. ASA Regional All-Stars
May 19 Sacramento, Calif. ASA Regional All-Stars
May 22 Stockton, Calif. ASA Regional All-Stars
May 25 Prescott, Ariz. ASA Regional All-Stars
June 5 Fort Worth, Texas ASA Regional All-Stars
June 6 Oklahoma City, Okla. NPF All-Stars
June 7 Oklahoma City, Okla. NPF All-Stars
June 8 Oklahoma City, Okla. Olympic Opponent
June 10 Topeka, Kan. ASA Regional All-Stars
June 12 St. Louis, Mo. ASA Regional All-Stars
June 14 Normal, Ill. ASA Regional All-Stars
June 17 Stevens Point, Wis. ASA Regional All-Stars
June 19 South Bend, Ind. ASA Regional All-Stars
June 21 Midland, Mich. ASA Regional All-Stars
June 23 Ashland, Ohio ASA Regional All-Stars
June 25 Killeen, Texas ASA Regional All-Stars
June 27 Midland, Texas ASA Regional All-Stars
July 8 Portland, Ore. ASA Regional All-Stars
July 10 Spokane, Wash. ASA Regional All-Stars
July 15 Rapid City, SD ASA Regional All-Stars
July 18 Springfield, Mo. ASA Regional All-Stars
July 20 Stratford, Conn. ASA Regional All-Stars
July 22 Xenia, Ohio ASA Regional All-Stars
July 24 Salem, Va. ASA Regional All-Stars
July 26 Irvine, Calif. ASA Regional All-Stars
NOTE: All dates, times and opponents are subject to change.