Stanford alums Jessica Mendoza and Lauren Lappin plus Cardinal coach John Rittman are members of the 2004 U.S. Olympic softball team that will be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame's Class of 2012 on Thursday.
Mendoza was a starter, Lappin was an alternate and Rittman served as an assistant coach for the 2004 team that won the gold medal in Athens, Greece.
The induction ceremony will take place Thursday, in Chicago. The 2004 team is the first group of softball athletes to be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.
Recognizing the ongoing support that fans give U.S. Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls in their training and competition, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame presented by Allstate was one of the first major sports halls of fame to incorporate fan voting into the selection process.
Dubbed the "Real Dream Team" on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine, the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team went 9-0 in Athens, a record that included eight consecutive shutouts and four run-rule wins. In total, the Americans outscored opponents 51-1, not allowing an opponent to score until 55 2/3 innings into the tournament when Australia scored in the sixth inning of the gold medal game.
Along with Mendoza, Lappin and Rittman, members of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Softball Team are Laura Berg, Crystl Bustos, Fernandez, Jennie Finch, Amanda Freed, Lori Harrigan, Lovieanne Jung, Kelly Kretschman, Tairia Mims Flowers, Stacey Nuveman, Leah O'Brien-Amico, Cat Osterman, Jenny Topping and Natasha Watley.
The team was coached by Mike Candrea and assistant coach Ken Eriksen.