USA Softball kicks off pre-Olympic tour

Feb. 20, 2004, 2:16 p.m. (ET)
USA Softball kicks off ‘Aiming for Athens’ pre-Olympic tour
CATHEDRAL CITY, CA – In pursuit of its third consecutive Olympic gold medal, the USA Softball Olympic team will kick off its ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour on Friday, February 20 at the Palm Springs Classic in Cathedral City, CA. With the official roster announced on January 9, the 15 member squad and three alternates will begin their golden pursuit battling four Top 25 collegiate teams in Cathedral City, CA at the Field of Dreams stadium complex.
The Team USA Palm Springs Classic schedule is as follows:
#7 Alabama
5:30 p.m.
#8 Stanford
8:00 p.m.
Notre Dame
5:30 p.m.
#12 Tennessee
8:00 p.m.
#18 Oregon State
11:00 a.m.
Currently posting a 115-game win streak in pre-Olympic tour competition, during those games the Red, White and Blue has posted remarkable numbers outscoring opponents 825-6. Comprised of six Olympic gold medalists, the U.S. squad returns 16 members of the 2003 Pan American gold medal roster and 13 members of the 2002 World Championship team. The undisputed No. 1 team in the World for 18 consecutive years, the U.S. has claimed two Olympic gold medals, seven World Championship titles and six Pan American gold medals in the team’s history.
Led by head coach Mike Candrea (Casa Grande, AZ) and assistants Ken Eriksen (Temple Terrace, FL) and John Rittman (San Jose, CA) the U.S. will face its toughest competition ever during the collegiate portion of the tour. Fifteen of the 23 collegiate opponents are currently ranked in the Softball Top 25 poll.
A two part tour consisting of a series of collegiate tournaments and a 22-city grassroots go round, the ‘Aiming for Athens’ barnstorming tour will continue through July before the U.S. Women travel to Athens, Greece in pursuit of a third gold medal.