OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. --- Six current or former Wildcats were named today to the 2005 Women’s National and Elite Teams by the Amateur Softball Association.
The 18-member National Team takes the field July 12 in Irvine, Calif., for an exhibition game against Australia before heading to the first-ever World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City, July 14-18. On July 26, the team will travel to Yokohama, Japan, to defend its Japan Cup title.
Wildcats named to the National Team under head coach Mike Candrea, UA’s mentor, include senior (to be) pitcher Alicia Hollowell and junior center fielder Caitlin Lowe. Former Cats include 2005 Olympic Gold Medalists Jennie Finch and Lovie Jung.
Lowe earned first-team All-America honors for the second consecutive season in 2005 while Hollowell earned a third All-America honor, a second-team citation after two years on the top unit.
Former 2004 UA senior catcher Mackenzie Vandergeest and 2004 Olympic alternate outfielder Nicole Giordano were named to the U.S. Elite Team that begins summer competition in the Canada Cup the first week in July in Surrey, British Columbia, and later in the Inter Continental Cup tournament in Madrid in late July.
The selections keep the UA contingent in the early corps of contenders for a spot on the USA Team that will return to the summer Olympics in Beijing, China, in 2008. But several top national players will not compete for the U.S. National or Elite Team squads this summer.
Eleven of the 15 Olympians from Athens return to represent the U.S. this summer on the National Team. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Crystl Bustos is taking a one year leave from Team USA to play full-time in the National Pro Fastpitch League with the Akron Racers. Two-time medalist Lisa Fernandez also announced she will take the year off because she and husband Michael are expecting their first child in December. Three-time gold medalists Lori Harrigan and former Wildcat Leah O’Brien-Amico announced their retirement from the National Team following the gold medal victory in Athens.
The following is the 2005 Women’s National Team Roster:
*Indicates still in college
Monica Abbott (Salinas, Calif./ Tennessee*)
Laura Berg (Santa Fe Springs, Calif./ Fresno State)
Jaime Clark (Tustin, Calif./ Washington)
Jennie Finch (La Mirada, Calif./ Arizona)
Tairia Flowers (Tucson, Ariz./ UCLA)
Amanda Freed (Cypress, Calif./ UCLA)
Vicky Galindo (Union City, Calif./ California-Berkeley)
Alicia Hollowell (Suisun, Calif./ Arizona*)
Lovie Jung (Fountain Valley, Calif./ Arizona)
Kelly Kretschman (Indian Harbour Beach, Fla./ Alabama)
Caitlin Lowe (Tustin, Calif./ Arizona*)
Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif./ Stanford)
Stacey Nuveman (La Verne, Calif./ UCLA)
Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas/ Texas*)
Jamie Southern (Clovis, Calif./ Fresno State)
Jenny Topping (Whittier, Calif./ Cal State Fullerton)
Natasha Watley (Irvine, Calif./ UCLA)
Kellie Wilkerson (Jacksonville, Fla./ Mississippi State)
The following is the 2005 Women’s Elite Team Roster:
Kaleo Eldredge (Kahului, Hawaii/ California-Berkeley)
Leigh Ann Ellis (Barboursville, West Virginia/ Uni. of South Florida)
Samantha Findlay (Lockport, Ill./ Michigan*)
Jocelyn Forest (Santa Maria, Calif./ California-Berkeley)
Nicole Giordano (Saugus, Calif./ Arizona)
Tiffany Haas (Santa Ana, Calif./ Michigan*)
Lauren Lappin (Anaheim, Calif./ Stanford*)
Jessica Merchant (Wayland, Mich./ Michigan)
Catalina Morris (Sonoita, Ariz./ Stanford*)
Marissa Nichols (Alta Loma, Calif./ UNLV*)
Gina Oaks (Alta Loma, Calif./ Cal State Fullerton)
Jennie Ritter (Dexter, Mich./ Michigan*)
Heather Scaglione (San Diego, Calif./ Oklahoma)
Lindsay Schutzler (Monterey, Calif./ Tennessee*)
Dana Sorensen (San Diego, Calif./ Stanford)
Mackenzie Vandergeest (Thousand Oaks, Calif./ Arizona)