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Olympic gold medalist, Lisa Fernandez, was born on February 22, 1971 in New York City. Lisa Fernandez 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.
Lisa Fernandez'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.
Upon graduating from high school Lisa Fernandez 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.
In 1990, Lisa won a gold medal at the ISF (International Softball Federation) World Championship.
Lisa Fernandez 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.
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.
Lisa 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. Fernandez and her family reside in Long Beach, California.