Clermont, Fla. – During its 10-day "Spring Break" trip to Florida last week, the Saint Xavier University softball team received a rare treat when two-time Olympic gold medalist Dr. Dot Richardson stopped to talk to the team on the way out of the National Training Center in Clermont, Fla. Richardson gave an inspirational message to the team during the brief interaction and allowed the players to take photos and wear her two gold medals. Dr. Richardson hit the game-winning home run (the first homer in Olympic softball history) against China that won the U.S. softball team the gold medal in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., the first gold medal awarded to the sport in Olympic history. For senior third baseman Kate Mollohan, the opportunity to meet such a softball legend was a "once in a lifetime" experience.
"Getting the chance to meet and talk with Dr. Dot Richardson was such a jaw-dropping experience," said Mollohan. "She was so welcoming and nice to our team and offered us some great advice for our softball careers. Plus, it was so amazing to get the chance to hold and wear a real Olympic gold medal, especially the first gold medal in Olympic softball history. It was a very memorable experience and I'm so excited that it happened during my final season with the team."
Between 1972 and 2000, Dr. Richardson won All-America honors 15 times, played on 10 championship teams, won the Erv Lind Award (top defensive player in Women's Major Fast Pitch National Championship) seven times, was a member of five Pan American teams and four International Softball Federation (ISF) World Championship teams. She won her two gold medals as a member of the 1996 and 2000 U.S. Olympic softball team. Dr. Richardson has received several awards, including the 1998 Sports Legends Award, the 1997 Babe Zaharias Award (Female Athlete of the Year), the 1996 Amateur Athletic Foundation Athlete of the Year, induction into the UCLA Hall of Fame in 1996, Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the Women's Major Fast Pitch National Championship four times, four-time Sullivan Award nominee and induction into the Florida State Hall of Fame in 1999.
Saint Xavier is currently ranked No. 25 in the NAIA's Preseason Top 25 Poll. The Cougars have won their last 12 games and sit at 14-2 overall, one of the best starts in program history. SXU is waiting for the weather to warm up to see when the team will get on the field to kick off play in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC).