Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Olympic Softball Centre, Helleniko Olympic Complex, Hellinikon
Date Started: August 14, 2004
Date Finished: August 23, 2004
Format: Round-robin tournament, with the top four teams progressing to the semi-finals.
Though the United States had won gold medals in 1996 and 2000, their performance in 2004 softball was one of the most dominant ever in an Olympic team sport. The USA played nine games, won nine games, and outscored their opponents, 51-1. The lone run came in the final game against Australia, which lost 5-1. The US was led by four women who won their third consecutive gold medals: Laura Berg, Lisa Fernandez, Lori Harrigan, and Leah O’Brien-Amico. The media darling for the United States was pitcher Jenny Finch, known for her model good looks, which actually belied her superb pitching abilities. Shortly after the 2004 Olympics, the IOC voted to exclude softball (and baseball) from the Olympic Program after the 2008 Olympic Games.