A dynasty of sorts is in the making at UCLA, where the women's softball team recently won its third consecutive NCAA Division I championship.
Two players who contributed greatly this year were Lisa Fernandez and Yvonne Gutierrez.
Fernandez, a freshman pitcher-third baseman out of St. Joseph High School in Lakewood, registered 11 victories in 12 decisions with a microscopic 0.64 ERA. She also hit .310 and knocked in 22 runs.
Gutierrez, a sophomore outfielder from Culver City High School, led the squad in batting at .384. She had 28 runs batted in.
Both were named All-Americans and were selected to the first-team All-Pac 10 and College World Series squads.
"We (the UCLA team) stuck together as a unit. I'm proud of that," Fernandez said. "We called it T.U. (Team Unity)."
Fernandez then went off as a pitcher for the U.S. team at the Women's World Championships in Illinois. Gutierrez, however, decided to take a sabbatical.
"I've been playing too much," Gutierrez commented. "I'm going to relax and pursue other goals this summer."
All-Star Soccer Team Lined Up for L.A.
On the heels of the World Cup, an international all-star soccer team is being lined up to meet a Mexican national squad at the Coliseum on Aug. 14.
Some of the leading soccer players in the world have been asked to participate in the match, which will benefit the World Children's Transplant Fund, said organizer Horacio (Bumpy) Marco.
"We decided we would take advantage of the hype of the World Cup," explained Marco, an Argentine-born member of the Los Angeles Police Department who has been affiliated with the fund since it was started five years ago.
"We got a pretty good line on Rene Higuita (Colombia's national team goalkeeper) and we are trying to get (Diego) Maradona and Hugo Sanchez. We are also trying to get a couple of players from the U.S. team, like Paul Caligiuri."
Caligiuri and his U.S. teammates didn't make it past the first round at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, where they lost the three games they played. But there's hope for a better showing when the United States hosts the event in 1994.
Sanchez, the Mexican superstar who recently won the scoring title in the Spanish league with Real Madrid, and Maradona, arguably the best player anywhere, would be exceptional attractions.
The fund, Marco said, not only pays for the surgeries and other medical bills, but it covers all the expenses of children who receive organ transplants, the donors and their families. He said the operations are performed at Hospital Italiano in Buenos Aires by surgeons from different countries.
"An operation there costs us $35,000," Marco said. "It would cost three times that much here."
The game is scheduled for 8 p.m., with preliminary games between AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) teams at 5:30 p.m. and a celebrity game an hour later.