Jan. 7, 2002
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - Seven current or former UCLA softball players have been chosen by USA Softball as members of its core group of athletes to move on to its upcoming World Championships champ in May/June. UCLA players include 2000 Olympians Lisa Fernandez and Stacey Nuveman, current Bruins Toria Auelua, Amanda Freed, Tairia Mims and Natasha Watley, and 2001 senior Courtney Dale.
After a three-day tryout camp in Chula Vista, Calif., USA Softball has selected a core group of athletes to move on to its upcoming World Championship camp in May/June. The 22 athletes selected earn a direct invitation back as the core athletes. Despite a players non-selection during this tryout camp, they do remain in the player pool and could be invited back to the camp later this year.
The complete core group includes 2000 Olympic gold medalist Leah O'Brien-Amico (Chino Hills, CA), Laura Berg (Santa Fe Springs, CA), Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, CA), Lisa Fernandez (Long Beach, CA), Stacey Nuveman (Laverne, CA) and Michele Smith (Califon, N.J.).
Also making up the core group are Alana Addison (Gonzales, LA), Toria Auelua (Garden Grove, CA), Lauren Bauer (Santa Ana, CA), Courtney Dale (Fresno, CA), Jennie Finch (LaMirada, CA), Jamie Foutch (Edmond, OK), Amanda Freed (Cypress, CA), Nicole Giordano (Saugus, CA), Nina Lindenberg (Anaheim Hills, CA), Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, CA), Tairia Mims (Tucson, AZ), Catherine Osterman (Houston, TX), Treena Peel (Aurora, CO), Britni Sneed (Houston, TX), Jenny Topping (Whittier, CA) and Natasha Watley (Irvine, CA).
USA Softball will be going for its fifth consecutive World Championship at the 2002 ISF World Championships in July in Saskatoon, Canada. The USA will also be looking to qualify as the top seed for the 2004 Olympic Games for the third consecutive time.
USA Softball Women's National Teams have been amongst the most dominating of any sports team in history. The USA's ability to bring home the gold in World Championships, the Pan American Games and the Olympics is unchallenged, with a total of thirteen.
The USA Softball Women's National Team won the first Olympic gold medal in the sport's history during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA, and defended its gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. The USA Softball Women's National Team, which has won the past four consecutive World Championships, the past four consecutive Pan Am Games and the past two Olympic gold medals, is the undisputed No. 1 team in the world.
As the National Governing Body of Softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting, women's men's, junior girls' and junior boys' National Teams that compete in international and domestic competitions.