June 4, 2001
OKLAHOMA CITY - Six current or former University of Arizona softball players and head coach Mike Candrea have been selected by the Amateur Softball Association/USA Softball to participate during the 2001 touring season.
Candrea will coach the USA Blue team, with former UA All-American first baseman Amy Chellevold and 2001 senior All-American outfielder Lauren Bauer picked for that squad.
Senior catcher Lindsey Collins and senior third baseman Toni Mascarenas, both All-Women's College World Series selections a week ago, were named to the USA Red team along with senior All-American Nicole Giordano and UA redshirt transfer Lovieanne Jung, who sat out the 2001 season.
Joining Candrea on the Blue coaching staff are Michelle Gromacki of Cal State Fullerton and Ken Erickson of the University of South Florida. Coaches for USA Red are Jay Miller of Missouri, John Rittman of Stanford and Kirk Walker of Oregon State.
The two teams will compete against each other in the USA Softball Shootout, a West Coast exhibition tour, that will stop in Portland (June 8), Spokane (June 10), Sacramento (June 14) and Los Angeles (June 17).
USA Red will then travel to Honolulu, June 20-24, to represent the USA at the 2001 U.S. Cup, where they will face 2000 Olympic silver medalist Japan, bronze medalist Australia and fourth-place finisher China. The U.S. Cup will mark the first time Team USA has faced these international teams since the 2000 Olympic Games.
The two teams will then travel to Vancouver, June 30-July 6, for the 2001 Canada Cup. The USA captured the gold medal and the bronze medal in 1999 when two teams were represented at the Canada Cup.
USA Blue will close out the season when it travels to Maracay, Venezuela, July 28-August 5 to represent the USA at the 2001 Pan Am Qualifier.
Candrea, who lost eight seniors off his 2001 NCAA Championship club, said he plans to accompany the teams to one event this summer -- the Canada Cup -- and that USA Softball agreed with his request.
UA pitcher Jennie Finch, named winner of the Honda Award as national player of the year and the Women's College World Series most outstanding player, has a sore arm and is taking a month off. She may travel with the teams to the Venezuelan competition, Candrea said.
Finch was invited to the tryout camp in San Diego along with fellow UA pitchers Becky Lemke and Nancy Evans, a former Honda Award winner and current assistant coach. Both of them opted to not attend the camp, Candrea said.