June 21, 2010
CARACAS, Venezuela - Former Bruin Olympians Andrea Duran and Natasha Watley and the USA Softball Women's National Team begin their 2010 schedule this week at the International Softball Federation's (ISF) XII Women's World Championship in Caracas, Venezuela. The tournament runs from June 23 to July 2.
Duran and Watley represent two of the 17 players on this year's roster. Team USA has participated in 11 previous World Championships, winning eight Gold Medals, including the last six titles.
Team USA starts the World Championship on June 24 at 1 p.m. local time against China. Team USA also plays against New Zealand (June 25), Botswana (June 26), Australia (June 27), the Dominican Republic (June 28) and the Czech Republic (June 29) in pool play. Playoffs are June 30 and July 1 with medal games on July 2.
Duran has been a member of Team USA since 2006 when she helped the U.S. to gold at the World Cup of Softball and the ISF World Championship. She also won gold at the 2007 Pan American Games and finished first three times in 2009 at the Canada Cup, the World Cup of Softball and the Pan American Games Qualifier. Duran was a member of the 2008 Olympic team which won the silver medal in Beijing.
An Olympic gold medalist in 2004 and a silver medalist in 2008, Watley begins her seventh season on Team USA. Last summer, Watley helped the U.S. National Team to gold medals at the World Cup of Softball, the Canada Cup and the Japan Cup. She is a three-time World Cup Champion ('06, '07, '09), a two-time Pan American Games gold medalist ('03, '07) and a two-time World Champion ('02 and '06).
Recaps and stats from the games will be posted at USA Softball.com