Five Former Bruins Named to 2008 USA Softball Women's National Team
Sept. 17, 2007
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Former Bruins Andrea Duran, Lisa Fernandez, Tairia Mims Flowers, Stacey Nuveman and Natasha Watley have been named to the 2008 USA Softball Women's National Team, as announced by the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) on Monday. The five UCLA alums are the most selections from one school on this year's National Team.
The Women's National Team will spend the next year preparing to defend their three gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The team will kick off a 40-city U.S. Tour titled 'Bound 4 Beijing' in February, giving fans all over the United States the opportunity to see the 2008 National Team.
The four-year process culminated with the final selection camp held last week in Chula Vista, Calif. with 32 participants. The 2008 roster includes 12 Gold Medalists from the 2004 squad and 15 members of the 2006 World Championship team. Three members of the 18-member roster will eventually be named replacements with 15 nominated to the United States Olympic Committee, prior to July 1, 2008, as the official roster for the 2008 Olympic Games.
Duran makes her third-consecutive appearance on the National Team roster after spending time on the World University, Elite and Junior Team rosters. Solid at third base, Duran made an impressive run this past summer, including a grand slam and a team-leading eight runs batted in at her first Pan American Games. She is also a two-time World Cup Champion as well as a 2006 World Champion.
Fernandez makes her return to the National Team roster after a three-year hiatus. The right-handed pitcher will possibly be making her fourth appearance at the Games, one of only two athletes to accomplish this. She has pitched in three Olympic Games, earning the win in the circle of the 5-1, Gold Medal victory over Australia in 2004. Fernandez was also the top offensive contributor for those Games, hitting .545 with 12 hits in 22 at-bats.
Mims Flowers, who has played first, third and catcher for the National Team, has been a solid player for the red, white and blue with six seasons of experience at the National level. The 2004 Olympian emerged this summer with a batting average of .543, including her first career grand slam at the World Cup of Softball. Flowers was also named Most Valuable Player of the Canada Cup.
Nuveman was an integral part in both the 2000 and 2004 Gold Medal victories for the United States. Nuveman had the only hit of the 2000 Gold Medal game and a home run in the 2004 Gold Medal contest. The catcher returns to the squad after taking off the 2007 season with the birth of her son, Chase.
Watley joins her seventh National Team after an exceptional 2007 season. The shortstop hit .466 with 27 hits and a team-high two triples, scoring 21 runs. For her efforts at the Canada Cup, she was named to the All-Tournament Team. Watley started all nine contests at the 2004 Games, tying for the team lead with 12 hits and posting a .400 average.
The USA Softball Women's National Team has a record of 26-4 over the last three Olympic Games, including an undefeated 9-0 record at the 2004 Athens Games, outscoring opponents 51-1. The team broke 16 records in 2004, including eight of their own records previously set. On top of three Olympic Gold Medals, the U.S. women are eight-time World Champions and two-time World Cup Champions.