2004 Olympic gold medalist and current USA Softball head coach Mike Candrea will head the national team coaching staff in June as the Red, White and Blue competes at the 2005 Pacific Rim Sports Summit in Seattle, the organization announced recently.
Mississippi State head coach Jay Miller will join South Florida head coach Ken Eriksen and Stanford head coach John Rittman, whowere also appointed assistant coaches by the national team committee. They served as assistant coaches on the 2004 Olympic team. Miller has coached the USA Elite team.
The team the quartet will coach in Seattle has many familiar faces from the 2004 National Team that took gold in Athens during the Olympic Games. Twelve of the 15 players from Athens will compete in Seattle along with the three alternates from the 2004 National Team. Making up the core group includes three-time Olympic gold medalist Laura Berg and Lisa Fernandez, as well as two-time Olympic gold medalist Stacey Nuveman .
Adding to the core group are 2004 Olympic gold medalist Jennie Finch, Amanda Freed, Lovieanne Jung, Kelly Kretschman, Jessica Mendoza, Tairia Flowers, Cat Osterman, Jenny Topping and Natasha Watley. Olympic alternates Jaime Clark, Nicole Giordano and Lauren Lappin round out the 15 players who were in Athens this past summer.
New faces added for this event are pitcher Leigh Ann Ellis, infielder Vicky Galindo and pitcher Dana Sorenson.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Leah O’Brien-Amico and Lori Harrigan announced their retirement from National Team competition following the 2004 Olympic Games.