Lisa Fernández

For the politician, see Liza Fernandez Rodriguez.
Lisa Fernandez
May 2006
Personal information
Born February 22, 1971 (1971-02-22) (age 43)
New York City, New York
Residence Long Beach, California
Education UCLA ('95)
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)

Lisa Fernandez (born February 22, 1971) is a right-handed softball pitcher of Cuban-Puerto Rican descent who established an Olympic record in softball with 25 strikeouts in a game as a member of the United States Women's team.[1]

Early years

Fernandez was born in New York City. Her father emigrated from Cuba, where he played baseball. In New York, he met and married, a young girl from Puerto Rico who was destined to become Fernandez's mother. Fernandez's mother played, with her brother (Lisa's uncle) stickball, a street game similar to baseball played with a broom stick and a rubber ball. Fernandez began playing softball at the age of eight. When she was twelve, she played in a local children's league. She tried out as a pitcher, however her coach told her that she would never make it because she didn't have the right size and build. In 1986, Fernandez and her family moved to Lakewood, California, where she attended St. Joseph High School. She joined her school's girls' softball team and together with her teammates won the CIF Championship.[1]

College career

Upon graduating from high school, she was accepted to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she played softball and earned a degree in psychology. Fernandez played at UCLA from 1990 to 1993. A three-time winner of the sport's Honda Award, Fernandez became the first softball player to win the Honda-Broderick Cup in 1993, given to the outstanding collegiate female athlete in all sports. A four-time, first-team All-American, Fernandez led UCLA to two national championships (1990 & 1992) and two runner-up finishes (1991 & 1993).[1][2]

U.S. Women's Olympic Softball Team

In 1990, Fernandez won a gold medal at the ISF (International Softball Federation) World Championship. Among her accomplishments are:[1][2]

  • 1991, gold medal at the Pan American Games
  • 1994, gold medals at ISF World Championships and Pan Am Qualifier
  • 1991 and 1992, Sportswoman of the Year Award[3]
  • 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 nation's 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 Fernandez 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 her honor, as the Lakewood Sports Hall of Fame Athlete of the Year.[1]

Later years

Fernandez 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.[4] Fernandez and her family reside in Long Beach, California.

See also

Puerto Rico portal
Biography portal

References

External links

  • Lisa Fernandez at softballperformance.com
  • Lisa Fernandez's U.S. Olympic Team bio
  • United States Olympic Committee
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