Thursday, Jul. 24, 2008

74. Jennie Finch

United States
Age: 27

Picture facing down Jennie Finch. You're in the batter's box when the 6-ft., 1 in. pitcher unleashes a bundle of blonde fury: whippet arm windmilling across the mound, ball screaming toward the plate at some 65 m.p.h. Because of the short, 40-ft. mound distance in softball, that's like trying to hit a 90 m.p.h. pitch in baseball. Swing and a miss. Four years after starring in Athens, Finch is back in business for Beijing; luckily for the U.S. softball team, she's still un-hittable. Finch, whose stunning looks have put her on a ballfield full of magazine covers, is the face of softball, a sport fighting for its Olympic life. "You'll never see a more talented group of women full of passion and love for what they do," she says. Finch is now married (sorry guys) and the mother of a 2-year-old son. His name? Ace, of course.