ASA/USA Softball

USA Softball Womens return to site of its first Olympic Gold

Feb. 27, 2004, 2:19 p.m. (ET)
USA Softball Women’s National Team returns to site of its first Olympic gold medal
 
COLUMBUS, GA – In pursuit of its third consecutive Olympic gold medal, the USA Softball Olympic team returns to the site of its first Olympic gold medal, Columbus, GA, and will compete in the NFCA Classic February 27-29. Columbus marks the second stop on the ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour which is divided into two segments, a college tour and a grass roots tour.
 
The Team USA schedule at the NFCA Classic is as follows: 
Friday, February 27
USA vs. Michigan at 6 p.m.
USA vs. Virginia Tech at 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 28
USA vs. Army at 6:30 p.m.
USA vs. Arizona State at 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 29
USA vs. Georgia at 5 p.m.
 
Currently posting a 120-game win streak in pre-Olympic tour competition, during those games the Red, White and Blue has posted remarkable numbers outscoring opponents 867-11. Last week at the Palm Springs Classic the U.S. posted a 5-0 record and had wins over four ranked opponents. Four of the five games ended due to the mercy rule and three of the four ended on walk-off home runs.
 
Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, CA) dominated opposing pitching last week going 11-for-16 (.668) with two doubles, a triple, three home runs and 11 RBI. Jennie Finch (LaMirada, CA) and Cat Osterman (Houston, TX) combined to no-hit No. 8 Stanford.
 
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 ESPN.com/USA 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.
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