NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---
As members of the 2004 United States Olympic Softball Team, Cal State Northridge softball head coach Tairia Flowers and volunteer assistant coach Natasha Watley have been elected to the United States Olympic Hall of Fame. Dubbed the "Real Dream Team" by Sports Illustrated, the team captured the Gold by outscoring its opponents 51-1 in nine games in Athens, Greece.
Team USA stormed out to eight-straight shutouts in the competition and did not allow a run until its 5-1 victory over Australia in the Gold Medal game. The team set 11 Olympic Records, including nine home runs in the competition.
Having just finished her second season at Northridge, Flowers is excited to be reunited with her Olympic teammates.
"Playing for my country and hearing the National Anthem after having received our Gold Medals is a memory I will never forget," Flowers said. "It was an honor to be part of that team."
Flowers is also in her second season as an assistant coach for Team USA. After winning Gold at the 2011 Pan Am Games, she will resume her role when Team USA competes in several tournaments.
From June 27-July 2, Team USA will be in Oklahoma City to compete in the World Cup of Softball VII. Flowers will also be with Team USA at the ISF Women's World Championships in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, from July 13-22.
Watley, who is currently playing professionally in Japan for Team Toyota, assisted on the final out of the Olympic Games and remembers the moment proudly.
"It is truly an honor to be inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame Class of 2012," Watley added. "Receiving this honor with my 2004 teammates is something very special to me. I am truly proud of being a part of that team and making history the way that we did."
The Class of 2012 who will be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame presented by Allstate during a press conference at the Team USA Media Summit in Dallas on July 12. Partially determined by fan voting, the Class of 2012 is comprised of six Olympians, one Paralympian, one team, as well as three additional individuals: a coach, veteran and a special contributor.
The list of inductees includes Gail Devers (track & field), Jean Driscoll (Paralympic track & field), Gary Hall, Jr. (swimming), Lisa Fernandez (softball), Kristine Lilly (soccer), Dan O'Brien (track & field), Jenny Thompson (swimming), Ed Temple (coach – track & field), James Connolly (veteran – track & field) and Ted Stevens (special contributor).
2004 USA Softball Roster
Head coach: Mike Candrea
Assistant coach: Ken Eriksen
Assistant coach: John Rittman