Andrea Duran just keeps on winning. The Olympic gold winner and former Selma High School softball star helped her USSSA Florida Pride team to a championship in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Championship Series on Aug. 24.
Duran hit a two-run homerun in the bottom of the fourth inning in a 5-0 victory for her team over the Chicago Bandits that forced a deciding game three. Duran came through once again in the clinching game with a run-scoring double in the Prides 2-1 victory over the Bandits.
Duran finished with four RBIs in the two games. It was her second NPF championship with the pride. She won another in 2010.
Duran is no stranger to championships. She helped lead UCLA to back-to-back College World series titles in 2003-2004. She was the Pac-10 player of the year in 2006.
She also was a member of the USA National Teams in 2006, where she won a Pan American games gold medal and a World Championship.
In 2007, she helped the USA team to another World Championship and a first-place finish in the International Softball Federation World Championships.
The 29-yard-old Duran also has a gold medal from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and another world championship title from 2009.
The Selma Enterprise caught up with the Selma softball star in a recent interview.
Q You recently help lead your team to a NPF championship, what was that like to win that series?
A It was amazing and so much fun. It was extra special winning this year because we battled the Chicago Bandits all season long. They beat us in the final game to win the regular season championship, so to beat them in Chicago for the NPF Championship was awesome.
Q You have been very successful coming from Selma, what do you think has been your greatest success?
A I worked really hard and sacrificed a lot to get to where I am today. Because of that resiliency and determination to succeed, I have been blessed with many achievements. It’s hard to pick just one. Winning back-to-back national championships was of course the highlight of my college career, but the highlight of my softball career was winning a medal at the Olympics. Having that opportunity to go to Beijing and to play for our country was an experience I will never forget and will cherish forever.
Q You have given back to the local community here in Selma, also in the Valley. Why is it important for you to come back to the Valley and give those clinics?
A It is important to me to give back to Selma, and the surrounding communities, because when I was growing up we didn’t have the opportunities or resources the athletes have today. Olympians didn’t come and host clinics or give lessons, so I want to give the kids today that experience. I also give back to show the kids what hard work can do for them. If they have a goal and work hard toward it, anything is possible even if they live in a small town.
Q You have a field named after you at Selma High and received numerous awards in the community, what does it feel like to be recognized by your home town?
A It is an honor to be recognized by the town I grew up in. When I was young and practicing out on that field, I never would have dreamed that it would be named after me one day. It is still crazy to look up and see my last name up on the score board.
Q What advice would you give local softball players?
A Anything is possible. Just because you are from a small town doesn’t mean you can’t do great things. If you work hard and surround yourself with positive people who also believe in your goals, you will be able to achieve anything. Never give up. It won’t be easy, so stay resilient and determined. Keep on fighting for what you want. So many of my teammates are from smaller towns also, so it is possible.
Q What are your off-season plans?
A In the off season I will be doing camps and clinics all over the U.S. If you are interested in scheduling one, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will also be working out at AP Fresno and hosting a softball development program. If you are interested, please go to apfresno.com.
Q How much longer is your softball career?
A I take it one year at a time. Right now I plan on playing for one, maybe two more years and then we will see.