3 Lisa Fernandez


Lisa Fernandez

Lisa Fernandez (born February 22, 1971, in New York City) is a renowned softball pitcher of Cuban-Puerto Rican descent who established an Olympic record in softball with 25 strikeouts in a single game as a member of the United States Women Olympic Softball Team.

Early years

Lisa's father immigrated from Cuba, where he used to play baseball. In New York he met Lisa's mother who had immigrated from Puerto Rico and whom he married. Lisa's mother played stickball, a street game similar to baseball played with a broom stick and a rubber ball, with her brother in the streets. Even though Lisa was a good student at school, it was only natural that she developed a love for baseball with the encouragement of both her parents. She began playing in 1979 at the age of 8. In 1983, when she was 12 years old, she played in a local children's league and when she tried out for the position of pitcher, her coach told her that she would never make it because she didn't have the right size and build. In 1986, Lisa and her family moved to Lakewood, California, where she attended St. Joseph High School. She joined her school's girl softball team and she and her teammates led the school to the CIF Championship.

1994 Women's College World Series Championship

Upon graduating from high school, she was accepted to the University of California, Los Angeles, where she played softball and earned a degree in psychology. She led her team to the 1994 Women's College World Series Championship. Not long afterwards, she was recruited by the representatives of the U.S. Women's Olympic Softball Team.

U.S. Women's Olympic Softball Team

In 1990, Lisa won a gold medal at the ISF (International Softball Federation) World Championship. Among her accomplishments are:

*1991, gold medal at the Pan American Games
*1994, gold medals at ISF World Championships and Pan Am Quilifier
*Led UCLA to two NCAA Women's College World Series Titles
*Four time NFCA First Team All-American
*NCAA Top VI Award presented to the top six senior student athletes in all divisions
*1993, Honda-Broderick Cup winner, country's most outstanding collegiate female athlete
*1991-93, Three-time Honda Award winner for softball presented to the nations best softball player;1996
*Olympic gold medal in the 1996 Olympics celebrated in Columbus, Georgia
*1998, gold medal at Pan American Games;
*2000, Olympic gold medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympics celebrated in Australia where she established a 25 strikeout record in women's softball
*2002, gold medal at the ISF World Championships
*2003, gold medal at the Pan American Games
*2004, Olympic gold medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics celebrated in Greece.

Honors

On April 24, 2001, the Lakewood City Council recognized Lisa as one of the most remarkable athletes ever to come from the playgrounds and ball diamonds of Lakewood. The city council named the ball field at Mayfair Park in honor of the Lakewood Sports Hall of Fame Athlete of the Year Lisa Fernandez.

Later years

Lisa is currently an assistant coach for the women's softball team at UCLA. She married Michael Lujan in 2002 and gave birth to their son Antonio in 2005. ["Fernandez adds to lineup", Long Beach Press-Telegram, January 10, 2006; "Son Gives Much Joy to Busy Fernandez", Long Beach Press-Telegram, April 1, 2007.] Fernandez and her family reside in Long Beach, California.

References

ee also

*List of famous Puerto Ricans - Sports
*Lakewood, California
*List of people from Long Beach, California

External links

* [http://www.usolympicteam.com/26_1158.htm Lisa Fernandez's U.S. Olympic Team bio]
* [http://fastpitchtvshow.com/?p=91 Lisa Fernandez Video Interview]


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