Aug. 11, 2008
BEIJING -- Team USA and Arizona Softball head coach Mike Candrea will open their gold medal defense tonight against Venezuela in what could be the final year of the sport being played at an Olympic level.
A 2005 International Olympic Committee vote dropped baseball and softball from competition in the 2012 Olympic games.
Coming off an Olympic year in which Team USA outscored its opponents 51-1 en route to their third straight gold medal, Candrea and former Wildcats Jennie Finch, Lovieanne Jung and Caitlin Lowe look to maintain their historical dominance over the field at the XXIX Olympiad in the capital city of China.
The United States has won every gold medal since softball became an Olympic sport in 1996.
Team USA had won an astonishing 185 straight games in pre-Olympic tours under Candrea and predecessor Ralph Raymond before finally falling to Virginia Tech on a no-hit effort by Honda Award Winner and USA Softball Player of the Year Angela Tincher on March 26, 2008. The team never skipped a beat after the fact, and has gone undefeated in the time span since, leading up to Monday night's opener (Tuesday afternoon in Beijing) against Venezuela.
First pitch is scheduled for 9 p.m. MST and will be broadcast live on CNBC.
USA Softball 2008 Beijing Olympic Schedule (Tucson date and time)
8/11 vs. Venezuela at 9 p.m.
8/12 vs. Australia at 9 p.m.
8/13 vs. Canada at 9 p.m.
8/14 vs. Japan at 9 p.m.
8/15 vs. Chinese Taipei at 9 p.m.
8/17 vs. Netherlands at 4:30 a.m.
8/17 vs. China at 9 p.m.
Check your local listings for television coverage.