Olympic gold medalist special guest at BSSG

Two-time Olympic Gold Medal Softball Player (1996, 2000) Dot Richardson is the special guest athlete of the 31st Annual Big Sky State Games Friday, July 15. She will speak and light the torch during Opening Ceremonies at Wendy’s Field at Daylis Stadium in Billings.
Richardson hit the game winning home run in the 1996 Olympic Gold medal game against China, it was the first home run ever in Olympic softball. She is a three-time World Champion (1986, 1990, 1994) and helped her team win five Pan American Game Gold Medals. As a collegiate player, Richardson was a five-time All-American, earning AIAW All-America honors at Western Illinois and four NCAA All-America honors at UCLA. After transferring to UCLA from Western Illinois, she was recognized one year as an All-American by both organizations. Richardson was also the NCAA Player of the Decade for the 1980’s.
Richardson was born in the 1960s’ a decade before Title IX opened the access for women in sports. She was a bat girl for her brothers’ baseball team, which allowed her the opportunity to practice with the team. At 10, a baseball coach offered her a chance to pitch, as long as she cut her hair and answered to a boy’s name. Shortly after turning that opportunity down Richardson was offered a chance to join a local women’s fast-pitch team.
Richardson’s love of baseball quickly shifted to softball when she learned she could be part of a team. At age 10 she was playing fast pitch with women twice her age. She is the youngest player in ASA history to play in a Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship at 13.
For many years while playing on the US National Team Richardson was working toward her medical degree and serving her medical residency in orthopedic surgery. In 2001 she became the medical director for the USA National Training Center in Clermont, Florida. She has been the head softball coach at Liberty University since 2013.
State Games Opening Ceremonies festivities include the Soaked Run, climbing wall, National Guard obstacle course, family entertainment and games, Parade of Athletes, Montana Mile, Champions for Life Basketball Spintacular and Torch Lighting. The first 500 in the gate receive a $2.50 food voucher for food carts. State Games participants are admitted free with their Opening Ceremonies tickets. Tickets are $5, children under 6 are admitted free.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, July 20, 2019
Third Saturdays, 1 p.m., The Crossings, 600 Roundhouse Dr.
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.

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