Title IX Memories with Lisa Fernandez
June 22, 2012
UCLABruins.com's Title IX tribute continues with an interview with softball legend Lisa Fernandez, a three-time Olympic gold medalist and current UCLA assistant coach.
Fernandez, who played at UCLA from 1990-93, won the Honda Award for softball three times and became the first softball player ever to win the prestigious Honda-Broderick Cup in 1993, given to the most outstanding collegiate female athlete in all sports. A four-time first-team All-American, Fernandez led the Bruins to two national championships (1990 & 1992) and two runner-up finishes (1991 & 1993). She was also All-Region and All-Pac-10 first-team each season and Pac-10 Player of the Year her final three years.
Fernandez is a three-time Olympic Gold Medalist, having helped Team USA to victories in the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. In 1996, Fernandez shined in the United States' 3-1 gold-medal victory over China, recording the final three outs to earn a save. In the 2000 Sydney Games, Fernandez pitched the U.S. to victory in both the semifinal win over Australia and the gold-medal game against Japan. She established an Olympic single-game strikeout record with 25 in a round-robin game against Australia and posted a 0.47 earned run average and 52 strikeouts. In 2004, Fernandez was Team USA's top hitter and pitcher, posting a .545 batting average (12-for-22), which set a new record for an Olympic tournament. For the third-consecutive Games, she was also in the circle for the final out of the gold-medal contest, a 5-1 victory over Australia.
With Fernandez on staff as an assistant coach for a total of 14 years, UCLA won NCAA Championships in 1999, 2003, 2004 and 2010 and Pac-10 titles in 1999, 2002 and 2009. The program has been honored as the NFCA National Coaching Staff of the Year twice in 2004 and 2010. Arguably the greatest pitcher in softball history, Fernandez has coached seven Bruin hurlers to 13 All-American awards.
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