Seven Former Pac-10 Athletes Named to NCAA Division I Softball 25th Anniversary Team

April 28, 2006

WALNUT CREEK, Calif.-- Seven former Pac-10 softball players and one current coach have been named to the NCAA Division I Softball 25th Anniversary Team for their outstanding achievements while participating in NCAA competition. The NCAA is celebrating the 25th anniversary of women's championships in several sports during the 2005-06 season.

The Pac-10 placed the most athletes of any Conference on the anniversary team, including four UCLA players and three from Arizona. Arizona head coach Mike Candrea was the only non-student-athlete to be recognized on the list.

Arizona's Leah Braatz was the only catcher named to the list. A four-time NFCA first team All-American, Braatz played in the NCAA championship game four times, bringing home two national titles in 1994 and 1997.

Pitcher Debbie Doom was a member of UCLA's national championship teams in 1982, 1984, and 1985, and was named to the All-Tournament team in each of those years. She was a first team NFCA All-American in 1984.

The only Honda Broderick Cup winner on the list, UCLA's Lisa Fernandez was a member of two national championship teams (1991 and 1993) and was named to the All-Tournament team in four consecutive years (1990-93). She was a four-time member of the NFCA All-American first team.

The NCAA Most Outstanding Player in 2001, Arizona pitcher Jennie Finch led the Wildcats to the 2001 NCAA championship title. A three-time NFCA first-team All-American, Finch was the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year in 2001 and 2002.

Lisa Longaker, a UCLA pitcher, was a three-time NCAA Champion (1988-90) and three-time NFCA first team All-American. She was named to the NCAA All-Tournament team in 1987, 1988, and 1990.

A three-time NFCA All-American, Arizona's Leah O'Brien-Amico garnered three national championship rings (1994, 1996, 1997), and three NCAA All-Tournament team selections (1994, 1995, 1997). She also won three Olympic gold medals with Team USA.

Another four-time NFCA first team All-American, UCLA's Natasha Watley garnered an NCAA Championship in 2003 and was runner-up in 2000 and 2001. She was named to the NCAA All-Tournament team in 2002 and 2003.

Arizona head coach Mike Candrea, who is in his 21st year as head coach of the Wildcats, has been at the helm of six national championship squads and eight Pac-10 team championships. A nine-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Candrea led Team USA to Olympic gold in Athens, Greece. He is the winningest coach (by percentage) in NCAA history.

NCAA Division I Softball 25th Anniversary Team:
Shawn Andaya, Texas A&M, Pitcher
Laura Berg, Fresno State, Outfield
Leah Braatz, Arizona, Catcher
Debbie Doom, UCLA, Pitcher
Lisa Fernandez, UCLA, Third Base and Pitcher
Jennie Finch, Arizona, Pitcher
Lisa Longaker, UCLA, Pitcher
Leah O'Brien, Arizona, Outfield
Amanda Scott, Fresno State, Pitcher
Natasha Watley, UCLA, Shortstop
Mike Candrea, Arizona, Head Coach

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