Andrea Howard, a former La Cueva standout who plays for the University of New Mexico, on Sunday was named to the Italian national softball team’s final roster to compete in the Tokyo Olympics.
“LET’S GET A MEDAL!!!!!” Howard tweeted on Sunday.
Italy will compete against five other teams in the Olympics: the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and Mexico. Competition begins on July 21 (in Tokyo) and concludes with the final games on July 27.
Italy will open up against the United States on July 20 at 9 p.m. MT.
Sunday’s announcement comes after Howard’s sparkling performance in the European Championship.
Howard, who started in all of Italy’s 11 games, hit .545 and produced 18 hits, six home runs, two doubles, a triple, 40 total bases and 23 RBIs in the event.
She led the tournament in hits, total bases and RBIs, while tied for the lead in home runs, third in runs with 14 and was in the top five in slugging percentage and batting average.
She posted a 1.212 slugging percentage and .579 on-base percentage, and produced six multiple-hit games and six multiple-RBI games.
In the championship game Saturday against the Netherlands, Howard went 3-for-4 at the plate with a solo home run in the bottom of the first and a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth that made it 6-3. The Azzurre won the championship, 9-5.
Howard’s best game of the tournament came against Bulgaria, in which she went 3-for-4 with seven RBIs on a three-run home run and a two-run triple in the first inning, along with a two-run single and a walk in the three-inning game.
After the Olympics, Howard will return to the Lobos for her fifth year.
Howard said in a statement through UNM: “I am so grateful to receive this opportunity with Italia Softball. The amount of love and support I’ve received is overwhelming, and I can’t thank everyone enough. I am looking forward to representing my family, Team Italia, UNM and the city of Albuquerque in the Tokyo Olympics. Forza Italia e Go Lobos!”