Lisa Fernandez


Best Softball Pitcher in the World
UCLA All-American Team USA
Gold Medalist
Pan American Games 1999
World Olympics
Atlanta 1996
Sydney, Australia 2000

Whenever you see Lisa Fernandez, the first thing you will notice is her commanding spirit and
determined posture. This young lady is never satisfied and works hard to reach her goals. She says her
motivation is to continue to improve on a daily basis and strive for perfection. A motto to live by for this
Latina athlete whom the experts call the best softball player in the world.
Lisa Fernandez was born in Lakewood, California on February 22, 1971, to a Puerto Rican born mother and a Cuban immigrant father.
Her love of the sport came naturally because both her parents participated in amateur athletics when they were yotmger. Her mother Emilia
coached children's softball while her father Antonio, who had played semi-pro baseball in Cuba, was her practice partner throughout her
career.
Lisa began pitching when she was 7 years old and after a few learning opportunities, became a phenomena. At St. Joseph;'s Hall High
School, the developing Fernandez pitched nearly 70 shutout games for the girl's softball team. At UCLA, her collegiate career was even
more impressive, as she pitched her school to two NCAA Women's College World Series Championships, compiling an astounding 93-7
record in the process. Her collegiate career statistics (1990-1993) are staggering, the most notable being her career winning percentage of
.930, which broke the existing NCAA record. She is a three-time Honda Award for Athletic Achievement recipient, four-time First Team All
American, and the only softball player to win the Broderick Cup as the top female collegiate athlete in all sports.
But the 1995 U.S. Pan American Games softball roster did not include Fernandez. Determined, she worked harder to get the opportunity
to play in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. There the U.S. softball team struck gold for the first time in the history of the sport. In Sydney,
Australia four years later, Fernandez and company were favorites to repeat. But the competition down w1der became a true measure of
champions to see if the U.S. team could recover from three losses and win a second straight gold medal. They finally got the hits they
needed and won in extra innings, edging Japan 2-1. Fernandez remembers, "the competition was so close, everything was a dogfight. In
1996 everybody was in the zone and we \Yere playing so well. It meant more with the close games".
Just another exceptional accomplishment for Lisa Fernandez who adds two Olympic Gold Medals to her repertoire of awards and
accolades. What is next for Fernandez is the Hall of Fame because it remains the only playing field left to conquer.