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Cathi Aradi

Crystl Bustos Named to USA Softball Women's National Team

DENVER, June 14 - USA Softball announced Sunday that Akron Racers shortstop and 1998 Women's Pro Fastpitch (WPF) Most Valuable Player Crystl Bustos has been named to the women's national team that will compete at the 1999 Pan American Games July 23-Aug. 7 in Winnipeg, Canada.

Bustos was one of five players selected to the team following the 1999 Coca-Cola USA Softball Women's National Team Festival June 10-13 in Fresno, Calif. USA Softball invited sixty of the nation's top fastpitch softball players to the festival, including ten players that were selected to the women's national team in January. Ten WPSL players and four 1999 WPSL Senior Draft selections also participated in the festival.

Bustos appeared in seven games during the festival and an exhibition game versus the USA Junior Girls World Team. The Canyon Country, Calif. native tallied two hits during the event, including a solo home run in her second at-bat Thursday. She also hit a home run against the junior girls Friday. Last season's WPF batting champion also won the first annual USA Softball Home Run Derby Saturday.

Bustos will be joined at the Pan American Games by eight gold medalists from the 1996 Summer Olympics, including Laura Berg, Sheila Douty, Lisa Fernandez, Lori Harrigan, Leah O'Brien, Dot Richardson, Julie Smith, Michele Smith and Shelly Stokes. Olympic alternates Jennifer Brundage and Jennifer McFalls were also selected to the team, along with University of Massachusetts pitcher Danielle Henderson. UCLA standouts Christie Ambrosi and Stacey Nuveman will round out USA Softball's 15-player roster. A USA Blue team was also selected to tour with the Pan American Team and to compete at the 1999 Canada Cup July 3-11 in Surrey, British Columbia.

USA Softball selected Virginia Roadsters outfielder and 1996 U.S. Olympic alternate Barbara Jordan to USA Blue. Courtney Blades, Amber Burgess, Lisa Carey, Amanda Freed, Teri Klement and Kelly Kretscham will join Jordan. Other USA Blue players include Nina Lindenberg, Kim Maher, Keri McCallum, Amanda Scott, Dani Tyler, Michelle Venturella, Becky Witt and Christa Williams.

The USA Softball Women's National Team will compete against USA Blue in preparation for the Canada Cup at the 1999 USA Softball American Challenge Series June 22-26 in Bloomington, Ind. and Cincinnati, Ohio. The American Challenge Series will continue July 16-19 in Garland, Texas and Oklahoma City, Okla. in preparation for the 1999 Pan American Games.

Bustos, Jordan and the 28 players selected to the women's national team and the USA Blue team will receive automatic invitations to the 1999 USA Softball Olympic Trials Sept. 2-4 in Midland, Mich.

The title sponsor of the WPSL is AT&T Wireless Services. Since pioneering the development of wireless telephone technology in 1947, ATTWS has grown to become the world's leading provider of wireless service. With more than 9.1 million customers in North America, the company has the ability to reach 7,000 American cities and 93% of the U.S. population through its vast network of cell sites. It provides a variety of services to personal and business customers. Based in Kirkland, Washington, ATTWS has more than 12,000 employees and is a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T Corp.