Philadelphia Force members Natasha Watley (pictured) and Sarah Fekete have been chosen to play at the international level for USA Softball. Watley was one of eleven 2004 Olympic Gold Medalists chosen to compete on the 2006 Womens National Team. She will join sixteen other athletes at the World Cup in Oklahoma City and the ISF Womens World Championship in China. Fekete, a recent graduate from the University of Tennessee, earned a spot on the 2006 World University Team, and will compete at the 2006 World University Games in Taiwan July 15-23.
Natasha Watley led the USA National Team to victory in 2004 at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Watley was third on the team with a .400 batting average. She has high hopes for this summer and knows the competition will be at its best. Watley, who is currently hitting .400 for the Philadelphia Force, will leave the team in July to follow her dream of winning another gold medal in the 2008 Olympic Games, the last for the sport of softball. It has been an honor and a blessing to represent my country every time I have been a part of the USA Womens National Team. This summer is important for us and the competition will be excellent as we work to place for the Olympics.
The University Team welcomes Fekete, who was drafted by the Force in her senior season. This will be her first experience playing at the international level. Watley says about Fekete, It is wonderful that she made the World University Team. It is a great opportunity for her to play at this level. Sarah has a bright future, and hopefully we can be teammates at the international level someday.
Fekete has made an immediate impact in her rookie season for the Force, batting a team-leading .400, along with teammates Watley and Leto. Fekete says, It is unfortunate that I just got here and will be leaving in a few weeks, but I hope to come back and help my teammates finish up the season. I am honored to be on the University Team, and I feel that it will be a wonderful opportunity to represent my country in the World Cup. Fekete will rejoin the Force in August for the remainder of the season.
When Fekete was asked about her experience playing with Watley on the Force, she stated, To have the opportunity to be on the same field as Natasha is a great honor. The competition will be intense and Fekete realizes that there are obstacles to overcome. I thought while I was in college that the level of pitching was at its best. Being a part of the NPF has made me realize that the pitching is of a much greater caliber. I realize that I will have to get accustomed to the fact that there are no weaknesses on a team. I know I have to be realistic and realize that I will not be getting on base every time. Playing in the NPF thus far has prepared me even more for international play this summer.