July 23, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge softball Head Coach Barbara Jordan continues to enjoy an eventful summer as an assistant coach with Team USA. Recently, Jordan and the Americans captured the 2009 KFC World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City, Okla.
In Oklahoma City, Jordan and Team USA clubbed their way through the competition, compiling a perfect 6-0 record en route to the title. The Americans defeated Australia, 3-1, in the championship game on July 20,
In all, Team USA outscored its opponents, 50-4, during the five-day event. Included in that tally was a 6-1 victory over Japan, the team that defeated Team USA in the gold medal game at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
"I was real proud of our girls and thought our veterans displayed outstanding leadership in getting us goingw in the right direction from the start," Jordan said. "I also think the influence of the older players made it easier for our younger girls to learn what playing for the national team is all about."
One characteristic that resonated throughout Team USA's stay in Oklahoma City was great team chemistry. With a large number of players suiting up for Team USA for the first time in their careers, Jordan saw the team chemistry as one of the endearing factors in the team's success.
"There was a lot of togetherness with this team," Jordan added. "It wasn't spoken about, but if you sat back and watched, you saw how supportive they were of each other."
For Jordan, this was her second tournament with Team USA in 2009. Earlier in the summer, the Americans captured the Canada Cup after finishing with a perfect 12-0 record at the event in Surrey, B.C.
Next week, she'll head to Japan as part of the Team USA coaching staff when the team competes at the Japan Cup in Sendai City, which runs from July 28 to Aug. 3. Jordan will serve as an assistant coach on the staff of Head Coach Jay Miller (Mississippi State) and will be joined by Suzy Brazney of Golden West College and Chuck D'Arcy as assistant coaches.
"I was fortunate to work with Coach Miller prior to this summer and think he is doing a great job," Jordan said. "Some people wondered how Team USA would respond after losing players and coaches, but Coach Miller never flinched and he showed his confidence in the team and his staff. He had the team believing we could win every day."
The roster will take on a different look than it has in the two previous tournaments this summer. Team USA will also be competing in a Pan American qualifying play in Maracay, Venezuela from Aug. 4-11.
"We'll have a mixture of half the girls from Oklahoma City and half who will be getting their first experience as a member of Team USA," Jordan said. "We'll only be there for one week, so it will be important for the younger players to learn quickly what USA Softball is all about."
Once back from Japan, Jordan will prepare for the 2010 Northridge season. The team will feature six seniors (Jaclyn Rymer, Lauren Olivas, Amanda Pitzenberger, Christina Saenz, Alexandria Alvarado and Debbie Duran) and returns seven more players from a squad that finished 29-21 in 2009.