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Legendary Lisa Fernandez


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#1
jlurban

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Softball legend Lisa Fernandez has represented the United States at three previous Olympic Games. A versatile performer, Lisa has pitched and played at third base for Team USA, and is a solid hitter. She holds the Olympic career strikeout record with 59.

At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta Lisa posted a miniscule 0.33 ERA while batting .348. In a round-robin game against Australia, she pitched a perfect game for 9 2/3 innings. She shutout China in the semifinals and picked up a save—also against China—in the final.

Lisa pitched 21 2/3 innings and gave up only four hits and one run in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. She set a performance record by striking out 25 batters in 12 2/3 innings in a preliminary round game against Australia, and held them to one hit while striking out 13 in the final as the US won 1-0.

Lisa and the Americans met Australia in the final again in at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004, this time beating them 5-1 for the gold medal. Lisa is a member of the 2008 US National Team and, if she is chosen for the Beijing Olympic team, would be making a record-tying fourth appearance at the Games.

#2
SpartanIlliniCub

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Aside from being an incredible addition to the USA National Team, Lisa Fernandez also won a national title with UCLA, and played for the Raybestos Brakettes and the California Commotion in ASA Women's Majors Fastpitch, a precursor to the NPF.

#3
Titan09

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Wow, what an athlete! In addition to it being awesome that Lisa Fernandez is trying to qualify for her fourth Olympics, it is even more awesome that she is still playing after having a kid AND at the age of 36...she would be 37 during the Olympics next summer! It really makes me re-think the words that are coming out of my mouth when I say "I am too old for this" at the age of 20...ha.

#4
jlurban

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Here's what head coach Mike Candrea has to say about Lisa:

 

She's a special player. She's our Tiger Woods. When I told her, "Lisa, you got the ball," it was an easy decision on my part because I can't think of anyone better in a big game.

 

Source: Thinkexist.com



#5
jlurban

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Lisa’s statistics at the 2004 Olympics in Athens were absolutely amazing. She pitched 24 of Team USA’s 56 innings, going 4-0. But she was also the best hitter in the tournament, batting .545 (12-for-22) with three doubles, a home run and eight RBI.

#6
jlurban

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Australian pitcher Tanya Harding is a counterpart to Lisa Fernandez in one respect—she's competed in the Games an amazing three times. But she hasn't fared nearly as well as Lisa in the medal count. There's a memorable photo which nicely sums up their rivalry: Lisa scores just ahead of the tag of catcher Marissa Carpadios, while Tanya Harding #7 looks on. The USA went on to defeat Australia 5-1 to win the 2004 Olympic gold medal in softball.



#7
KCSoftball

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Found this on Facebook, enjoy: 

https://www.facebook...71495553177362/

 

In my view the greatest overall softball player EVER!  Sorry for those that never got to see her play, pitch & hit!



#8
CatOsterFan

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Awesome video!  I didn't even realize it but this video says that Lisa Fernandez once recorded 21 strikeouts in a game!

 

This is a short documentary focusing on Lisa Fernandez and especially focusing on her 3 gold medal wins at the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympics. 

 

The video also highlights that Fernandez was a superb college pitcher.  She went 93-7 and won 2 national titles with UCLA.  Once year she also hit for a .510 average.  She was an All American all 4 years at UCLA.  She was also a key player from 1996 - 2004 with Team USA.  She also won 3 gold medals with Team USA during that span.  Lisa Fernandez was the player that got the ball during all the key games in the gold medal runs in Atlanta, Sydney, and Athens.

 

Fernandez is a machine and her icy stare from the mound gives me chills even many years later.  And her value as player pales in comparison to her value as a leader.  Several younger Olympians including Jessica Mendoza and Lovieanne Jung. 

 

I miss having Lisa Fernandez on the mound for Team USA!  With what a competitor she is I bet she would have gotten the ball and gotten the job done against Japan in Beijing in 2008.



#9
MammaZord

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Is she trying out for the 2016 Games? I couldn't find any info stating such. It might be tough for her to make it at 45, BUT she is one of (if not the) best to ever play so I wouldn't count her out. I see that she is an assistant coach at UCLA.  I assume she is not playing competitively anymore, which would make it hard for her to make Team USA. Maybe they can bring her on as a coach? She would be an invaluable asset to Team USA in any capacity. 



#10
KCSoftball

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She is retired, but she can still "bring it" as her players at UCLA can tell you when she throws batting practice!



#11
MammaZord

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I just looked it up (because I couldn't remember) and Lisa did make the 2008 team as an alternate! They didn't take home the gold, but it's still awesome she made it to her 4th Games! 



#12
FaspitchPapa

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Want to know what kind of burning passion and desire it takes to be an elite softball players?  Take a look at this link here  http://www.espn.com/...lip?id=19528662

 

It's a video of our very own Lisa Fernandez getting up close and personal with an umpire at a UCLA game.  Fernandez is an assistant coach for UCLA and she made contact with the ump! 

 

It takes a lot of passion to be an elite softball player.  But there are some downsides to having a lot of passion-- sometimes it can boil over and cause you to be ejected from a game!



#13
MammaZord

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I love that video of Fernandez getting ejected. She was all fired up, but I do not see where the Umps made a bad call. It was a fantastic throw to get the runner back to first, and a wild play at the plate as the catcher made crazy tag. The catcher, Walters, then had a great heads-up play getting the runner stuck between second and third. Great defensive series all around for the Aggies. The UCLA baserunner got greedy! 

 

Here's my theory on why Fernandez got so amped up: she wanted to take the heat off of her player who made some base-running errors. It was a great put-out at the plate, but the third out should have never happened, that UCLA runner pushed her luck trying to take 3rd. I think Fernandez was worked up about how things went down, and she decided to take it out on the Umps. Sometimes when a coach gets worked up and ejected, it gets a team amped up. I think in this scenario Fernandez put all the attention on herself maybe to spare her player. Or maybe she's just a hot-head! haha. Also, making contact with the ump is never a good idea!!! 






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