July 15, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge softball Head Coach Barbara Jordan helped lead Team USA to the 2009 Canada Cup Championship and an undefeated run at the tournament, which was held from July 5-12 in Surrey, British Columbia. Jordan served as an assistant coach on the squad and helped coach the Americans to a dramatic, come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Team Canada in the event's championship game.
From her position as the team's first base coach, Jordan saw former Arizona All-American Jennie Finch collect the game-winning hit, slapping a single to the left side that allowed Caitlin Lowe to score all the way from second base. Team USA had tied the score earlier in the inning on a sacrifice fly by former Arizona State All-American Kaitlin Cochran.
"When we were trailing toward the end of the game, you could really see the team's experience coming through," Jordan said. "Despite having a lot of new players, including new starters in the outfield, at second base and at catcher, this team showed it knew how to win."
Cat Osterman, a former All-American at Texas, led the American effort in the circle in the championship game, striking out 14 batters. Joining Jordan on the staff were Mississippi State Head Coach and Team USA Head Coach Jay Miller and assistants Ken Eriksen (Head Coach at South Florida) and Gordon Eakin (Head Coach at BYU).
In all, Team USA finished the tournament 12-0 and engaged in a series of battles with Team Canada throughout the festivities. Earlier in the event, the Americans threw out the would-be-tying run at the plate for the final out of the game in a 3-2 American victory. Team USA also earned a 3-0 victory over their neighbors to the North in the semifinals, thanks to former Tennessee All-American Moncia Abbot's one-hit performance.
USA Softball picked up several pieces of hardware at the Canada Cup with four players earning Tournament Awards. Natasha Watley received the Canada Cup MVP award as well as the Offensive MVP Award. Lauren Lappin received the Suzy Brazney Award for the Most Outstanding Catcher while Osterman was named the Lori Sippel Award winner for the Most Outstanding Pitcher.
"In sports and in life, you can never stop learning and working," Jordan added. "Working with Team USA has allowed me to continue to grow as a coach and a person and I am truly grateful to have this opportunity."
Now with the Canada Cup in the rearview mirror, Jordan and Team USA must gear up for the 2009 KFC World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City, which also serves as the home of USA Softball and the NCAA Women's College World Series.
Among the participants in the event will be Japan, a squad that defeated the Americans in gold medal game at the 2008 Olympics in Bejiing.
"It is always great to represent your country and to do so in front of your home fans is even more wonderful," Jordan said. "Being in Oklahoma City allows our fans to come out and see the team play and it really is an amazing experience."
ESPN and its cable partners will broadcast seven games on ESPN & ESPN2 at the KFC World Cup of Softball. In addition, all seven Team USA games will be broadcast on ESPN360.com.
The complete domestic ESPN air schedule is below. All times are CST.
Thursday, July 16 - USA vs. Netherlands 7 p.m. ESPN
Friday, July 17 - USA vs. Italy 7 p.m. ESPN
Saturday, July 18 - USA vs. Canada - Noon ESPN
Saturday, July 18 - Border Battle - USA vs. Canada Men's Slow Pitch 3 p.m. ESPN
Saturday, July 18 - USA vs. Japan 7 p.m. ESPN
Sunday, July 19 - USA vs. Australia Noon ESPN
Monday, July 20 - Championship Game, #1 seed vs. #2 seed; 8 p.m. ESPN2