With just over a year until the 2008 Beijing summer games, the U.S team is steamrolling over the competition. In fact, Team USA's toughest competition may come from within.
In addition to claiming a consecutive World Cup of Softball championship this year, the national team also uses the tournament to determine which players will make the Olympic squad. With the World Cup coming to an end a few players are moving up the ranks.
Taira Flowers, who has gone five for eleven with 11 runs batted in and two home runs, knows how important it is. “I’m trying to be confident every time I step into the box and look for good pitches. I definitely worked extra hard this past off season knowing I have this opportunity to step into the lineup.”
Vicky Galindo is also doing her best to seize her chance, with a batting average of .583, six runs batted in and one home run. "This is a big summer for me. We have our Olympic try outs coming up and I just want to make sure I secure my place on the team," Galindo emphasized. "I want to make sure I don’t make any errors or mental mistakes. I just want to play perfect ball."
Team USA has been playing perfect ball so far in the World Cup going undefeated in five games. Knowing their days are numbers, even secure players like Jennie Finch feel the pressure. “With the Olympics right around the corner--this is it. This is our time to shine, work hard and leave it all on the field,” Finch said.
Who has surprised you this season to earn a spot on the 2008 Olympic team?