CHULA VISTA, Calif. --- The USA Softball Women’s National team arrived today at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. in preparation for the June 9-12 International Sports Invitational. A four-team round robin tournament, Team USA will take the field for the first time since taking home an Olympic gold medal by a decisive margin in Athens, Greece.
The U.S. will open camp with a practice Tuesday, June 7 from 9-11 a.m. and Wednesday, June 8 10:00-12:00 p.m. that is open to the media. All interviews will be conducted at the conclusion of each practice. Log on to www.usasoftball.com for updates stories, photos and stats of the ISI. See ISI Schedule Below.
To get tickets call (619) 220-8497 or (619) 482-6120 or online at www.ticketmaster.com
“I am very excited to be back on the field again,” said three-time gold medalist Laura Berg (Santa Fe Springs, Calif.). “Honestly, I am a little nervous but it’s great to be back with many of my teammates from 2004 and it’s something I always look forward to.”
“This tournament is going to be intense,” Berg added. “Knowing our rivalry with Australia and also Canada and China, everyone is going to come out strong and aiming to knock us off. It will be quite the adrenaline rush for me to take the field as it is for the entire team. This is going to be quite a tournament to open the summer season.”
Returning 11 gold medalists from Athens, the 18-member Team USA is a combination of new and old faces. Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, Calif.), who set an Olympic record with five home runs in 2004, will take the year off to play fulltime with the Akron Racers of the National Pro Fastpitch League. USA Softball legend Lisa Fernandez (Long Beach, Calif.) will not participate this weekend due to medical reasons.
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.
Led by three-time gold medalist and centerfielder Berg, the Red, White and Blue will look to Olympians Jennie Finch (La Mirada, Calif.) and Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas) to lead from the pitching circle at the ISI.
The U.S. table setter in Athens batting .400, shortstop Natasha Watley (Irvine, Calif.) will continue to bring speed and depth to the U.S. offense and defense. Two-time gold medalist Stacey Nuveman (La Verne, Calif.) will also provide power while the experience of fellow Olympians Tairia Flowers (Tucson, Ariz.), Jenny Topping (Whittier, Calif.), Amanda Freed (Cypress, Calif.), Kelly Kretschman (Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.), Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.), and Lovieanne Jung (Fountain Valley, Calif.) will the team.
2004 Olympic alternates Jaime Clark (Tustin, Calif.), Nicole Giordano (Saugus, Calif.) and Lauren Lappin (Anaheim, Calif.) round out the list of familiar faces as they begin their quest for a gold medal in 2008 Beijing.
Four new faces will join the U.S. ranks making their first National team appearances this weekend. A 2004 Stanford graduate, right handed pitcher Dana Sorensen (San Diego, Calif.) led the Cardinal to the 2004 Women’s College World Series and was among the top pitchers in the college game. Leigh Ann Ellis (Barboursville, West Virginia) graduated from University of South Florida in 2004, where she set the school record for wins at 43 and was a member of the first-team All Conference USA team. A 2005 first-team All-American at Fresno State, right handed pitcher Jaime Southern (Clovis, Calif.) is coming off her senior season where she led the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament.
Completing the roster is rookie third baseman Vicky Galindo (Union City, Calif.) who recently led the California-Berkeley Bears to the Women’s College World Series. A quick, left-handed slapper, Galindo is a two-time first team All-American.
NOTE: These players have been selected for this event only and must go through another team camp June 13-17 to earn a spot on the 2005 National Team or Elite Team.
2005 International Sports Invitational Softball Schedule of Events
*** All games will be played at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
Thursday, June 9
China vs. Australia 2 p.m.
USA vs. Canada 4 p.m.
Friday, June 10
Australia vs. Canada 2 p.m.
USA vs. China 4 p.m.
Saturday, June 11
China vs. Canada 9 a.m.
USA vs. Australia 11 a.m.
Semi- Final #1 2p.m.
Semi-Final #2 4 p.m.
Sunday, June 12
Final – Bronze Medal Game 12:00 p.m.
Grand Final – Gold Medal Game 2 p.m.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is
the National Governing Body of softball in the United
States and a member of the United States Olympic
Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s
largest sports organizations and now sanctions
competition in every state through a network of 88
local associations. The ASA has grown from a few
hundred teams in the early days to over 240,000 teams
today, representing a membership of more than three
million. For more information on the ASA, visit
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned
by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior
Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs
together. USA Softball is responsible for training,
equipping and promoting these four National Teams to
compete in international and domestic competitions.
The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of the
only two women’s ¬sports involved in the Olympic
movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at
the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also
won seven World Championship titles including the last
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