Leah O'Brien

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Leah O'Brien
Personal information
Born September 9, 1974 (1974-09-09) (age 42)
Garden Grove, California, U.S.

Leah Marie O'Brien-Amico (born September 9, 1974 in Garden Grove, California)[1] is an American, former All-American, left-handed-hitting softball player from Chino, California. O'Brien-Amico is best known for playing for the Arizona Wildcats (1993–1997, winning three National Championships) and earning gold medals at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics.

Arizona Wildcats[edit]

O'Brien-Amico was named to the First Team All-Pac-10 for her freshman efforts. At the 1993 Women's College World Series, the Wildcats faced rival UCLA in the finale and with the only hit allowed, she drove in the game-winning run off Lisa Fernandez.[2] It was Arizona's second title.

O'Brien-Amico earned First Team All-American honors to accompany conference honors.[3] Her 16 doubles were the second best total and still rank top-10 for the Wildcats.

Returning to defend their title at the WCWS, O'Brien-Amico hit .750 (9/12 with 5 RBIs, a home run and two doubles) to set the tournament record for batting average.[4][5] Eventually the Wildcats were able to successfully defend their title, besting the Cal State Northridge Matadors on May 30, 1994. O'Brien-Amico was perfect at the plate (3/3) and scored two runs against pitchers Jennifer Richardson and Amy Windmiller to be named All-Tournament.[6]

For her junior year after red-shirting for the Atlanta Olympics, O'Brien-Amico earned all-season honors for a third straight year.[7] She broke the school record for doubles and her 101 hits was a top-5 record. She still ranks top-10 all-time in both categories.

With her third straight appearance in the WCWS finals, O'Brien-Amico and the Wildcats again faced the UCLA Bruins but were defeated 4-2 on May 29, 1995. O'Brien-Amico went 2/3 with an RBI and was again named All-Tournament.[8] The title was later vacated by the NCAA due to rules violations.[9]

She earned her final First Team All-American and All-Pac-10 honors.[10] With a career best .467 average, O'Brien-Amico collected 99 hits to rank top-5 for both stats and remains in the top-10 all-time for the Wildcats.

Concluding her finals streak at the WCWS, O'Brien-Amico won her third National Championship over the UCLA Bruins and was a perfect 2/2 with two RBIs and two base on balls against hurler Christa Williams. She also scored two of Arizona's 10 runs in the mercy rule victory.[11] She was named to the All-Tournament Team for a third series.

With combined stats from previous seasons, O'Brien-Amico had a WCWS career of .563 (31/55) with 19 RBIs, two home runs, 4 doubles and 7 walks, striking out just once with a slugging percentage of .745%. She also hit safely in 17 of 18 games, being shut out just once by Melanie Roche and the Oklahoma State Cowgirls on May 30, 1993.[12] Beginning the next game of that doubleheader day with the ULL Ragin’ Cajuns, O'Brien-Amico went on a 15-consecutive-game hit streak ending with her title in 1997.

O'Brien-Amico graduated atop the list for the Arizona Wildcats in career average and doubles. She also ranked top-10 for hits in the NCAA and still does at Arizona for her average and doubles.[13]

Team USA[edit]

For the Athens Olympics, O'Brien-Amico was the only collegiate athlete selected to the roster and hit .300 in 7 games and was perfect at right field.[14] To open her Olympics career, O'Brien-Amico went 2/3 with a walk in a 10–0 mercy-rule win over Puerto Rico. She did not play the gold medal game.[15]

At the 2000 Sydney Olympics she hit under .250 for the tournament.[16] O'Brien-Amico nabbed hits in games with Italy, Japan, China and Australia running September 23–25, 2000. She drove in her only RBIs in a 6-0 win over Italy and in the gold medal game was shut out by Japan, though Team USA won 2-1 on September 26.[17]

On the "Aiming For Athens" Tour, O'Brien-Amico hit .386 with 43 RBIs, 5 home runs and 9 doubles.[18] Facing the Stanford Cardinal on February 20, 2004, O'Brien had a tour-high 3 RBIs on a home run to eventually win 9–0.[19] In the Olympics, O'Brien-Amico had a tournament-best 2 RBIs off Melanie Roche of Australia on August 15; the US eventually won 10-0 run-ruling the Australians.[20] She would equal her performance vs. Greece on August 19.[21]

In the August 23 gold medal game, O'Brien-Amico had a single as the United States defeated Australia 5-1 to close out their dominating tournament in victory.[22] She hit .200 for her final international tournament.[23]

Personal life[edit]

In 2002, O'Brien-Amico was inducted into the University of Arizona Hall of Fame.[13] She now lives in California with her husband Tommy and three children. She currently works in the ministry and occasionally offers color commentary for ESPN.[24][25]

Statistics[edit]

University of Arizona[edit]

YEAR G AB R H BA RBI HR 3B 2B TB SLG BB SO SB SBA
1993 49 131 29 49 .374 24 0 0 4 53 .404% 19 6 5 7
1994 66 214 70 89 .416 45 3 1 16 116 .542% 35 6 4 6
1995 72 233 88 101 .433 62 2 3 21 134 .575% 31 6 10 11
1997 66 212 66 99 .467 50 2 1 14 121 .570% 23 7 11 15
TOTALS 253 790 253 338 .428 181 7 5 55 424 .536% 108 25 30 39

Team USA[edit]

YEAR AB R H BA RBI HR 3B 2B TB SLG BB SO SB SBA
1996 10 1 3 .300 0 0 0 0 3 .300% 2 1 0 0
2000 31 0 7 .226 2 0 0 0 7 .226% 3 0 1 1
2004 175 53 63 .360 48 5 0 10 88 .503% 18 10 0 0
TOTALS 216 54 73 .338 50 5 0 10 98 .453% 23 11 1 1

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Three-time NFCA First-Team All-American (1994, 1995 and 1997)
  • WCWS National Champion (1993, 1994 and 1997)
  • 3-Time Academic All American
  • 3-Time First-team All-Pacific Region
  • 4-Time All-Pac-10
  • 3-time ASA All-American
  • 1996 Atlanta Olympics Gold Medalist
  • 1997 NCAA "Woman of the Year" (State of Arizona)
  • 1998 ISF World Championships Gold Medalist
  • 1999 Pan American Games Gold Medalist
  • 2000 Sydney Olympics Gold Medalist
  • 2002 University of Arizona Hall of Fame
  • 2002 ISF World Championships Gold Medalist
  • 2003 Pan American Games Gold Medalist
  • 2004 Athens Olympics Gold Medalist

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Leah O'Brien-Amico". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  2. ^ http://web1.ncaa.org/ncaa/event.do?championship=400016&division=400016400012&event=400456
  3. ^ https://nfca.org/index.php/awards/awards-history/4158-1994-di-all-american-teams-
  4. ^ http://web1.ncaa.org/ncaa/eventlist.do?championship=400019&division=400019400012
  5. ^ http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/softball_champs_records/2009/DI/champs.pdf
  6. ^ http://web1.ncaa.org/ncaa/event.do?championship=400019&division=400019400012&event=400542
  7. ^ https://nfca.org/index.php/awards/awards-history/3932-1995-di-all-american-teams-
  8. ^ http://web1.ncaa.org/ncaa/event.do?championship=400020&division=400020400012&event=400602
  9. ^ http://tucsoncitizen.com/wildcatreport/2010/06/08/uclas-cheating-in-1995-still-stings-softball-wildcats/
  10. ^ https://nfca.org/index.php/awards/awards-history/3906-1997-di-all-american-teams-
  11. ^ http://web1.ncaa.org/ncaa/event.do?championship=400022&division=400022400012&event=400740
  12. ^ http://web1.ncaa.org/ncaa/event.do?championship=400016&division=400016400012&event=400461
  13. ^ a b http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/ariz/sports/w-softbl/auto_pdf/2010SoftballMediaGuide.pdf
  14. ^ http://www.usasoftball.com/uploads/2008%20olympics/1996overallstats.pdf
  15. ^ http://www.la84foundation.org/6oic/OfficialReports/1996/1996v3.pdf
  16. ^ http://www.usasoftball.com/uploads/2008%20olympics/2000overallstats.pdf
  17. ^ http://www.la84foundation.org/6oic/OfficialReports/2000/Masters/so/SOresults.pdf
  18. ^ http://www.usasoftball.com/folders.asp?uid=1920
  19. ^ http://www.usasoftball.com/info.asp?uid=1789
  20. ^ http://www.usasoftball.com/info.asp?uid=1686
  21. ^ http://www.usasoftball.com/info.asp?uid=1682
  22. ^ http://www.usasoftball.com/info.asp?uid=1687
  23. ^ http://www.usasoftball.com/uploads/olympics/overall%20statistics.pdf
  24. ^ http://www.leah20.com/bio.html
  25. ^ http://www.leah20.com/ministry.html

External links[edit]