Softball returns to Pac-12 Networks March 5
Newcomers Teri Goldberg and Amanda Freed join Jessica Mendoza and Tammy Blackburn as analysts on Networks’ 65 live game telecasts
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. – The 2014 Pac-12 softball season is already underway and Pac-12 Networks is excited to announce former USA Softball stars Teri Goldberg and Amanda Freed join Jessica Mendoza and Tammy Blackburn on Pac-12 Networks’ analyst team for 65 live softball game telecasts this season. The action begins Thursday, March 5 with 12th-ranked UCLA hosting No. 6 Michigan at 7:00 p.m. PT.
With the Networks’ overall increase to 750 event telecasts in year two, up from 550 telecasts produced in year one, softball fans will reap the benefits with 65 games this season – nearly double the 34 televised games offered in 2013.
Along with the increase in games comes a boost in talent with two of the sport’s most decorated players joining the Networks’ analyst team. Goldberg comes to Pac-12 Networks following a successful playing and coaching career at Colorado State University where she was inducted into CSU’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. During her collegiate playing career, Goldberg led the Rams to back-to-back HCAC championships in 1989 and 1990 and set school records in both career and season batting average. She went on to compete as an alternate on the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team and won four gold medals as a member of the USA Softball National Team from 1997-2003. Goldberg also brings eight years of broadcasting experience to Pac-12 Networks from her time as an analyst on Mountain West Conference softball game telecasts for The Mtn.
Freed returns to her Pac-12 roots following a successful collegiate career in which she led UCLA to a College World Series appearance all four years of her career as a Bruin, bringing home the title in 1999. Freed also competed as an alternate alongside Goldberg on the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team and went on to win a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens. Additionally, she was part of the 2002 and 2006 World Championship team and a 2003 Pan American Games gold medalist.
Mendoza, a former first-team All-American and three-time Stanford Female Athlete of the Year winner, returns for her second season of softball telecasts with the Networks, as does the multi-dimensional Blackburn, who will have served as an analyst for four different sporting events (women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, women’s basketball, softball) by season’s end. Goldberg, Freed, Mendoza and Blackburn will pair with play-by-play voices Anne Marie Anderson, Krista Blunk, Rich Cellini and Ann Schatz throughout the season.
2014 is on track to be another banner season for Pac-12 softball with the Conference’s nine programs dominating in the season’s opening week with an overall record of 37-8. The Pac-12 boasts seven teams in the USA Today/NFSC Coaches Poll with Washington leading the pack at No. 3. Fifth-ranked Arizona State and No. 10 Oregon round out the top 10, followed by No. 12 UCLA, No. 17 Stanford, No. 23 California and No. 24 Arizona.
Of the 10 Conference players earning All-American accolades last season, eight return to Pac-12 rosters this year, led by ASU’s Amber Freeman who earned First Team All-America honors in 2013 and is the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year. Fellow Sun Devils Dallas Escobedo, Cheyenne Coyle and Alix Johnson are also among the Pac-12’s returning All-Americans alongside Janie Takeda and Alexa Peterson of Oregon, Washington’s Kaitlin Inglesby and Stephany LaRosa of UCLA.
Each Pac-12 program boasts at least 11 Network appearances: Arizona (17), Arizona State (17), Cal (16), Oregon (15), Oregon State (13), Stanford (10), UCLA (14), Utah (11) and Washington (15).