Fernandez and Boom honored
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK --- The Amateur Softball Association and USA Softball announced today the selection of Lisa Fernandez (Long Beach, CA) and Chad Boom (Barnesville, MN) as the 2004 USA Softball Players of the Year. Each year USA Softball recognizes the top female and top male athletes based on their performance throughout the year. These honorees are then submitted to the United States Olympic Committee as nominees for its 2004 SportsMan and SportsWoman of the Year.
Often described as the ‘world’s best softball player,’ Lisa Fernandez proved that statement to be true once again in 2004 when she captured her third consecutive Olympic gold medal. Going three for three in gold medal game starting performances, Fernandez’ fierce competitiveness and leadership guided the 2004 USA team.
Setting a new Olympic record for batting average, the 5’6” legend combined for a .545 average in nine games played. She broke the previous record of .524 (Chika Kodama, Japan, 1996) by recording 12 hits, two doubles, one home run and eight RBI. Batting from the No. 4 position, she recorded at least one hit in the last five games and compiled four multiple hit performances.
From the circle, she led the U.S. to its third gold medal with a 4-0 record. In her first performance against Australia, she one-hit the 1996 and 2000 bronze-medal team in a 10-0 mercy rule shutout. Just four days later, she tallied another one-hit outing against host country Greece in a 7-0 decision where she totaled five strikeouts. Heading into the medal round as the No. 1 seed, it was all Fernandez as she lifted Team USA to back-to-back victories over rival Australia en route to the gold medal. In the opening round of the playoffs, she tossed her third shutout while allowing only three hits in a 5-0 victory.
The ‘go to’ player, Fernandez continued as she captured win No. 4 and her third gold medal against the Aussies in a 5-1 decision. With 0.29 ERA and allowing just one run and nine hits, Fernandez was one of five players to start in all nine games while she recorded 21 and 2/3 scoreless innings. Defensively she posted a perfect fielding percentage while playing third and in the circle.
Chad Boom led the USA Men’s softball team to a fourth place finish at the XI ISF Men's Softball World Championship in Christchurch, New Zealand Jan. 29 –Feb. 7. He led the Red, White and Blue in all categories totaling a .450 average from the plate starting in eight of nine games played. A 7-2 overall team record, Boom led the RBI category with eight knocking in three home runs, two doubles, nine hits and nine runs. An on base percentage of .542, Boom highlighted his championship performance with a 3-for-3 outing with one RBI in the U.S. 7-3 victory against Japan. In the 18-0 U.S. rout over the Czech Republic, he led the U.S. offense going 3-for-4 with five RBI, two doubles and a home run.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 88 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in its early days to over 240,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit www.asasoftball.com
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of the only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won seven World Championship titles including the last five consecutive.