Rittman to Coach Two Former Cardinal Players on 2008 National Team
Sept. 17, 2007
Oklahoma City, Okla. - Two former Stanford players and Cardinal Head Coach John Rittman were among the players and staff named to the 2008 US National Softball Team, announced the Amateur Softball Association of America today. Lauren Lappin ('06) and Jessica Mendoza ('02) were named to the 18-player roster that will spend the next year preparing to defend the USA's three gold medals in Beijing, China next year.
Lappin, the youngest member of the 2004 National Team at 19, served as an alternate at the 2004 games but will look to compete at the Games this year. Lappin had a stellar return to the National Team roster in 2007, hitting fourth on the team with a .480 (12-for-25) average. At Stanford, Lappin was a two-time All-American and two-time Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year.
Mendoza has been one of the top run producers on the USA National Team since the 2001 season. In 2006, she played a major role in the U.S. winning its first World Cup as well as its seventh World Championship title, including hitting the game winning homerun in the Gold Medal game of the World Championships. Mendoza was a four-time first-team All-American at Stanford and still holds program records for career batting average (.416), hits (.327), doubles (70), homeruns (50), runs (230) and stolen bases (86).
Rittman has been involved as a coach with the USA Softball National Team program since 2001. Most recently he served as an assistant coach for the team that won back-to-back titles at the World Cup of Softball and a sixth consecutive World Championship. In 2004, he coached for the 2004 USA Olympic Team that won a gold medal in Athens, Greece.
The four-year process culminated with the final selection camp held last week in Chula Vista, Calif. with 32 participants. The 2008 USA Softball Women's National Team roster includes 12 2004 Gold Medalists 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.
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.