Four Former Bruins Earn Roster Spots for 2008 Olympic Games
March 28, 2008
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - The Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) announced on Friday its 15-person roster and three replacement players that will compete this August in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The roster includes former Bruins Andrea Duran, Tairia Mims Flowers, Stacey Nuveman and Natasha Watley, while Lisa Fernandez was selected as a replacement player.
The 15 athletes will look to defend three consecutive Olympic Gold Medals when they begin competition in China on August 12.
Making her first Olympic team, Duran has been a member of the National team for three seasons after spending time on the World University, Elite and Junior team rosters. Solid at third base, Duran made an impressive run the past summer, including a grand slam at her first Pan American Games. She is also a two-time World Cup Champion, as well as 2006 World Champion.
A starting first baseman with a powerful swing, Mims Flowers has been a solid player for the Red, White and Blue as she vies for her second Olympic Gold Medal. With six seasons of experience at the National level, the 2004 Olympian emerged this past 2007 leading the team throughout the summer with a batting average of .543, including her first career grand slam at the World Cup of Softball.
Leading with experience at catcher, Nuveman returns to her third Olympic roster after being an integral part in both the 2000 and 2004 gold medal victories. She had the only hit of the 2000 gold medal game and a home run in the 2004 gold medal game. Nuveman returns to the squad after taking off the 2007 season with the birth of her son, Chase.
A highly recognized shortstop, Watley joins her second Olympic roster after an exceptional 2007 season. She hit .466 with 27 hits and a team-high two triples, scoring 21 runs. The speedster started all nine games at the 2004 Games, tying a team-best 12 hits for a .400 average.
Fernandez made her return this year to the National Team roster after a three year hiatus with the birth of her son, Antonio. She has pitched in three Olympic games, including earning the win in the circle of the Gold Medal 5-1 victory over Australia in 2004 as well as a top offensive contributor hitting .545 (12-for-22) at the Games.
Duran's appearance on the team makes her the 15th former Bruin to earn a spot on an Olympic Games roster, with 10 representing the United States and winning Gold Medals.
The final roster for the 2008 Olympic Team must be submitted to the United States Olympic Committee for final approval by July 1, 2008.