This past summer Cal State Northridge softball head coach Barbara Jordan joined Team USA as an assistant coach during three tournament championships. The team had a perfect record of 21-0, and Jordan had the pleasure of coaching some of the best softball players in the world, including Jennie Finch, Natasha Watley and Lauren Lappin.
“You really don’t need to tell them a whole lot,” Jordan said. “They’re like any other player. They need encouragement, they need a pat on the back. When they take the field they prepare themselves.”
Jordan and Team USA first traveled to Surrey, British Columbia to participate in the 2009 Canada Cup, where they went a perfect 12-0 and had a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over next-door neighbor Canada in the championship game.
Soon afterward Jordan and Team USA competed in the 2009 KFC World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City, Okla. They routed everyone off the field, outscoring their opponents 50-4. Team USA had a perfect record of 6-0, which included a victory over Japan, the team that defeated them in the gold medal game at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Jordan expected the players to be pumped and talk a lot of trash before their game against Japan. Instead the girls made it seem like just another game and they did their talking on the field.
“No one said anything about the game the whole week,” Jordan said. “I would have thought the players would have spoken about it and said ‘let’s get them.’ They never said a single word, but I would say it was a very intense game, and you know I think they felt good about (winning) 6-1 in Oklahoma City.”
For their final tournament, Team USA traveled across the Pacific to play in the Japan Cup. Jordan and her players once again hammered the host Japan, 6-1.
Under Jordan and the rest of the coaching staff the players outscored their opponents 157-15 in 21 games. Overall Jordan had a learning experience by working with head coach Jay Miller.
“The biggest thing I learned was from coach Miller, just watching him lead and watching the things he did on a daily basis,” she said. “I think I learned a lot from him, and those are some things I can bring back to CSUN.”