Womens National Team Arrives for World Championships

Aug. 22, 2006, 1:59 p.m. (ET)
Women’s National Team Arrives for World Championships
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The USA Softball Women’s National Team arrived in Beijing, China, looking to capture their sixth consecutive gold medal at the XI ISF Women’s World Championships being held August 27- September 5. The seven-time World Champions begin pool play competition on Sunday, August 27 at 2:00 AM (CST) against Italy. The XI ISF Women’s World Championships are being hosted at the Fengtai Softball Field, the same facility that will host softball during the 2008 Olympics.
In his first appearance at the 2002 World Championships, head coach Mike Candrea led his team to its seventh World Championship title with a perfect 10-0 record including a 1-0 win over Japan in the championship game. Eight members of the 2002 World Championship team are back to compete in the 2006 World Championships. Laura Berg (Santa Fe Springs, Calif.), who is making her fourth appearance in an ISF World Championship, will be tied for most appearances in a World Championship. Jennie Finch (La Mirada, Calif.), Tairia Flowers (Tucson, Ariz.), Amanda Freed (Cypress, Calif.), Lovie Jung (Fountain Valley, Calif.), Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.), Stacey Nuveman (La Verne, Calif.) and Natasha Watley (Irvine, Calif.) will each compete in their second World Championship.
The USA Softball Women's National Team was a perfect 6-0 in its first international event of the season as they brought the II World Cup of Softball Championship trophy back to the United States with a 5-2 win over Japan in the title game. The USA defeated five teams that will be competing in the World Championships. The Red, White and Blue outscored their opponents 59-3 and led the tournament with a team batting average of .453. During World Cup competition, Team USA combined for 73 hits with 20 extra base hits while the pitching staff allowed only 17 hits in 34 innings and two earned runs.
The USA is 96-9 in World Championship play with only one loss in the past five World Championships. The last loss came in 1998 versus Australia, a game that went 12 innings ending with a 2-1 win for the Aussies.
The top four finishers at the XI ISF World Championship will secure a berth into the 2008 Olympics and will be seeded in the order they finish. The official website for this event is www.2006softball.org.