Natasha Watley and Vicky Galindo of the United States Olympic Softball Team were on the Roger Williams University campus this past weekend to take part in a benefit event for the Hawks Softball program.
The event held a number of segments throughout the weekend including a dinner held in the Global Heritage Hall on Saturday evening, an autograph session with the Olympians and a silent auction featuring sports memorabilia items. Dinner guests were treated to speeches by each of the Olympic athletes, starting with Galindo’s speech entitled, “Journey to the Olympics”, followed by Watley’s speech, “Living the Dream”. In there speeches, they were able to share their stories and personal experiences of the roads they have traveled.
On Sunday, Jan. 9, Watley and Galindo were featured instructors as the Hawks softball team and first-year head coach Joyce Maudie held an instructional clinic for young aspiring softball players. Defensive skills, hitting techniques and base running were among the main topics of instruction.
Coach Maudie came to Roger Williams University after coaching at Division I Tennessee State University for eight seasons. Maudie has won over 350 games in her coaching career and has received many accolades such as WIACC, NAC, CIAA and OVC Coach of the Year Awards, all in different conferences, to name a few. She was also called upon to start a softball program for the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) of the SEC in 1996.
“Everybody here, particularly at Roger Williams, has been phenomenal,” said Maudie. “Right now, this year, the hope is to get it [the program] going and then to build it. Even if you’re not a softball player, just being in the presence of somebody that has elevated their game at that level, no matter what sport it is, there’s just a great amount of respect.”
According to Maudie, the dinner on Saturday night was a great success.
“We had some people at the dinner last night that weren’t even athletes that came away so inspired by the message given by Natasha and Vicky,” she said.
Watley is a four-time World Cup Champion, two-time Pan American Gold Medalist, three-time World Champion, 2004 Olympic Gold medalist, and a 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist. Watley earned the 2003 Honda Broderick Cup as the nation’s top collegiate athlete and earned Pac-10 Player of the Year at UCLA. Watley has competed in the National Pro Fastpitch professional league since 2005 and currently plays in the Japan League for Team Toyota.
Galindo earned an Olympic Silver medal as a member of the 2008 U.S. National Team. She is a three-time World Cup Champion and two-time World Champion, while also earning the gold medal at the Pan American Games in 2007. She was twice named a First Team All American while playing a Cal-Berkley and is a three-time All Pac-10 recipient. She currently serves as head softball coach at West Valley College in Saratoga, CA.