Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Slew of Cats Selected to Represent USA Softball
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: June 19, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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OKLAHOMA CITY-- Arizona pitcher Alicia Hollowell and 2007 returning senior Caitlin Lowe were among 17 players picked for the Women's National Team that will play in the International Softball Federation's World Championship in China later this summer.  Also, returning senior Kristie Fox and junior-to be Callista Balko were selected for the World University Team.

Lowe and Hollowell join former Wildcats Jennie Finch and Love Jung on the squad, coached by UA's Mike Candrea.

USA Softball announced the roster for the team that will attempt to win an unprecedented sixth consecutive gold medal at the ISF event in  Beijing August 27-September 5.

Thirty of the nation's top female softball players participated in the Women’s National Team Selection camp last week (June 13-15) in Chula Vista, Calif.
Eleven members of the gold medal team from the 2004 Olympic Games remain on the club -- Laura Berg, Santa Fe Springs, Calif.; Crystl Bustos, Canyon Country, Calif.; Jennie Finch, La Mirada, Calif.; Tairia Flowers, Tucson, Ariz.; Stacey Nuveman, La Verne, Calif.; Amanda Freed, Cypress, Calif.; Lovie Jung, Fountain Valley, Calif.; Jessica Mendoza, Camarillo, Calif.; Cat Osterman, Houston, Texas; Jenny Topping, Whittier, Calif.; and Natasha Watley, Irvine, Calif.

The roster also includes Monica Abbott of Salinas, Calif.; Andrea Duran of Selma, Calif.; Vicky Galindo of Union City, Calif.; Hollowell, of Suisun, Calif.; Lowe, from Tustin, Calif.; and Jamie Southern of Clovis, Calif.

Coaches are Candrea from the University of Arizona, assistant Chuck D’Arcy  of Sacramento, Calif.; assistant Karen Johns from the University of Virginia and assistant John Rittman of Stanford. Rittman, like Candrea, coached at the 2005 Olympics.

The Women's National Team will compete for the II World Cup of Softball presented by Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes in Oklahoma City July 13-17, and then travel to Beijing, China for the ISF Women’s World Championships. The U.S., which finished second, last year to Japan at the inaugural World Cup, will be looking to keep the World Cup on American soil.  The 2006 ISF Women's World Championship serves as the major qualifier for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The top five teams from the World Championship will qualify for Beijing and will be seeded in the order they finish. The USA has been the top seed in the past three Olympics and looks to secure its fourth top seed during the upcoming World Championship.

The USA's record of 54-1 in World Championship play dating back to 1986 includes five straight titles, an unchallenged record in the sport. A successful title defense by the USA would give it the No. 1 world ranking for the 20th consecutive year.

USA Softball Women’s National Teams have been among the most dominating of any sports team in history. The USA’s ability to bring home the title in World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympics is unchallenged; with a total of 16 gold medals that includes five consecutive World Championships, five consecutive Pan Am Games and the past three Olympic gold medals.

The USA Softball Women’s National Team won the first Olympic gold medal in the sport’s history during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., and defended its gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. Its gold medal performance in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece,
will be remembered as one of the most dominating performances in Olympic History.

Over thirty of the nation's top collegiate players participated in a selection camp for the team, June 8-11, in Chula Vista, Calif., and now 17 players move on to represent the U.S. this summer.

Callista Balko (Tucson, Ariz., Arizona); Tina Boutelle (Katy, Texas, Texas); Courtney Bures (Haymarket, Va., Mississippi State); Katie Burkhart (San Luis Obispo, Ariz., Arizona State); Christina Clark (Santa Ana, Calif., Fresno State); Kaitlin Cochran (Yorba Linda, Calif., Arizona State); Norrelle Dickson (Orange, Calif., Oklahoma); Sarah Fekete (Maryville, Tenn., Tennessee); Samantha Findlay (Lockport, Ill., Michigan); Kristie Fox (San Diego, Calif., Arizona); Lauren Lappin (Anaheim, Calif., Stanford); Brianne McGowan (Reno, Nev., Oregon State); Cambria Miranda (Camarillo, Calif., Oregon State); Jackie Rinehart (Reno, Nev., Stanford); Jennie Ritter (Dexter, Mich., Michigan); Lindsay Schutzler (Monterey, Calif., Tennessee) and Angela Tincher (Eagle Rock, Va., Virginia Tech) will represent the U.S. at the Championship.

The World University Team will be coached by Head Coach Carol Hutchins, Assistant Coach Mike Larabee (Head Coach at Wright State), Assistant Coach Mark Lumley (Assistant Coach at Baylor) and Assistant Coach Jay Miller (Head Coach at Mississippi State).

The World University team will play a scrimmage against the USA Softball Women’s National Team on July 10 in Irvine, Calif., before departing for Taiwan. Upon their return to the United States they will stop off in Chicago for a four game series against the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch league, July 26-30.