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JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #61 
Dunnin - Remember that meeting well, and the emotions that flowed.  That group decision was a large part of top talent being scooped off before selection for team USA chose.  

As for Chamberlain, I consider her one of the very best hitters in softball, and I don't have the foggiest idea why she looked so bad at the plate in the tourney just completed.    Frank

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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
LMUfan

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Reply with quote  #62 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DunninLA
LMU -- I like Eriksen's approach with the players that we heard via the microphone.   The worst thing you can do with inexperienced international competition players is to cause them to press too hard, which I think they were already doing.   Some of the fielding and base running errors no doubt occurred because of the stress of the situation.  A gentle hand is/was needed.  Better to tell them to relax, focus, and enjoy the ride.   Fewer errors that way.


I don't think he should necessarily come down hard on them.  But he should at least show some fire.  Players reflect their leader, if he doesn't have a fire in his belly how can the players get fired up. 

All we hear about on the telecasts is that the dream of the Olympics should be alive.  They show little girls in the stands and say that they dream of being on the national team and going to the Olympics.  This team played like they've never heard of the national team and it was no big deal to lose to Japan.  I want players that are angry, very angry when we lose to Japan.  I want them to feel so strong about it that they vow to never let it happen again, much less the next night.

Instead we have a nonchalant coach that tries to be calm, very calm.  Almost Zen-like.  Maybe he's from the Phil Jackson school of coaching but Phil Jackson had the best players in the world to work with.
LMUfan

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Reply with quote  #63 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DunninLA
The bottom line is that if Team USA is ever to field the best players the USA has to offer, Team USA, NPF, and players playing professionally in Japan will have to figure out a way for all parities to win.   Team USA is not in a position to demand exclusivity.  Neither is NPF, but then again it wasn't NPF that took that position, it was the ex-Olympic players themselves.


If you watched the World Cup then you saw that every Japanese player was designated not by the college they attended but by the pro team they play for.  Somehow they've figured out how to be on a pro team and the national team at the same time.  Seems not only are they better players than the Americans, their team management appears to be smarter and more creative than ours.

One wonders how Japanese pro players can be on the Japanese national team but American professional players that play on a Japanese pro team can't do the same.  Something doesn't add up.
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #64 
Charlie - Ken Eriksen has plenty of fire in his belly.  Someone once said about my own coaching style, "He has the rare ability of kissing them in the ear before he kicks them in the ass".  I think that describes Ericsen well.  He would be the last coach in the world to embarrass a player during a game or to "tear her down to build her up" , but he would not hesitate to chastise a player in what he thinks is a more appropriate setting.  Above all, he is a teacher.  He prefers a positive approach as a field coach.  No doubt.  If a player is representing her nation with USA emblazoned across her chest against Japan in the international Gold Medal game and isn't personally motivated (usually over personally motivated) to do her best, there is something seriously wrong with that player's game approach.  I doubt that many if any need someone screaming at them or publicly chastising them for mistakes that can be corrected in the shady areas of the dugout through good teaching. His players generally like and appreciate his approach.       Frank
PS - Notice the coaching styles of the Japanese coaches??  

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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #65 
LMUFan - Sure it adds up - - - to Japan 6 and USA 3.   Simple synergistic reasoning while considering deficits.     Remember that USA, even at their best, took the silver to Japan's gold in our last Olympic competition with Osterman in the circle.  Japan is the constant and USA is in flux while attempting poorly to deal with a deficit situation controlled by capitalism. The re$ult$ are manife$t.  Xconstant minus $factors = Ssilver.       Frank
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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
LMUfan

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Reply with quote  #66 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoiseyGuy
Charlie - Ken Eriksen has plenty of fire in his belly.  Someone once said about my own coaching style, "He has the rare ability of kissing them in the ear before he kicks them in the ass".  I think that describes Ericsen well.  He would be the last coach in the world to embarrass a player during a game or to "tear her down to build her up" , but he would not hesitate to chastise a player in what he thinks is a more appropriate place.  Above all, he is a teacher.  He prefers a positive approach as a field coach.  No doubt.  If a player is representing her nation with USA emblazoned across her chest against Japan in the international Gold Medal game and isn't personally motivated (usually over personally motivated) to do her best, there is something seriously wrong with that player's game approach.  I doubt that many if any need someone screaming at them or publicly chastising them for mistakes that can be corrected in the shady areas of the dugout through good teaching.      Frank


Somehow there's a misconception that playing with fire or passion is translated into negative energy or screaming and yelling.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I don't think "kicks in the ass" are an appropriate form of motivation.  Maybe, if someone is deliberately showing contempt it can be called for but good motivators build people up, not tear them down. 

Motivation has nothing to do with negativity and everything to do with passion.  While you say coach Eriksen has the passion and fire to do the job I'll have to take your word for it, you've seen him much more.  If he is like that he didn't show it this week.  Maybe it was because he was being broadcast live that he felt to change his method of coaching.
CoachZ

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Reply with quote  #67 
Dunnin,
While you are correct that the Olympians chose the NPF, you are incorrect that the ASA did not force their hands. While they did not go the route previously taken in 96, the ASA found a more subtle way of commanding allegiance. They told the USA players that they could play for the NPF, but attendance at all tournaments and training camps were mandatory. The ASA then proceeded to schedule out half of June, most all of July, and a little of August. The Olympic Team members originally tried to maintain this schedule. Most of them barely saw a game with their teams until playoffs in August. For obvious reasons, that didn't work.
A major reason that ASA and NPF will never come to terms and cooperate is that their peak seasons are simultaneous. The ASA can't change the scheduling of most major international competitions and the NPF can't pay their players enough to play in the spring or fall (a summer schedule is the only way that the NPF players can work an alternate job in the off-season).
By the way, Japan league only operates in spring and fall, shutting down in the summer partially to allow the national team to compete uninterrupted. The players are salaried employees of the company they play for, making the money issue a moot point.
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #68 
Charlie - "kiss in the ear" and "kick in the ass" are not literal.  Geez !!!!  And I gave you credit for four numbers in your IQ !!   Why do you think it's necessary to display more overt emotion to get these women to compete?  Did I see the Japanese coach do that?  No !  Worked pretty well for her.  Am I wrong, or are you talking Vince Lombardi. whose players said that he was fair because he treated them all like dogs?    Frank
PS - Can you give me an example of your idea of a good coaching approach - it's sure not John Wooden.  Bobby Knight maybe??  Don't you think that Eriksen was "building them up"??  I thought he went overboard to do that.     It's late out here in the East so I have to go to bed.   Good night, Charlie - have a great night's sleep.  

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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
outofthezone

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Reply with quote  #69 
I wonder how many people on this board have ever really SEEN international softball up close and personal?  To say that Canada is the 3rd best team in the WORLD is a joke!  Between Japan and USA and both countries pro leagues, along with their Jr National teams>>>this years Canada team and Australian team would be very low on the list.  The Japanese defensive skills and work ethic is like no other countries.  Watching them take infield is like attending a top level ballet.  Hours and hours of dedication, away from their families, not always being treated kindly by their coaches are all a part of their training process.  The ones that survive this process are the ones we see on their National Team.  Back in Japan they have many tremendous players who could come to the states and be top players.  In my opinion, the USA has gotten SOFT over the years and now any young player that is told to run, take 100 extra ground balls, skip a school dance to stay and practice with the team, lose 15 pounds so you can move faster, simply quits the team and moves to another coach or her Daddy starts his own team so DD doesn't have to work hard.  I don't really know when it became acceptable to not ask/demand the best from your players/children.  Somewhere along the way we have lost our edge or as Sylvester Stallone wrote so well in Rocky 2, we lost the "Eye of the Tiger"!  Having a coach say things like "go play like a bunch of little girls" really made me scratch my head, because that is exactly what they did!  They played like a bunch of little girls that were just learning to run the bases and catch pop-ups.  How about challenging these women with, "America doesn't think most of you on this team belong here, this tournament is your opportunity to prove them wrong.  Go out there and play hard and show America who you are and why YOU deserve to be wearing the USA jersey".  Just my opinion, but treating them with kid gloves only makes them act/play as kids!     
LMUfan

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Reply with quote  #70 
outofthezone,

Well said, my sentiments exactly.

These players don't have a sense of the enormity of their commitment.  When their tweets still talk about representing their college and mention nothing about America then they haven't got the right mindset.  It's the analogous to winning the WCWS and tweeting about how proud they are of their high school team and not mentioning their college team.

They haven't moved up.  In their mind they're still doing the college schtick.
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #71 
Zone and Fan - What you write may well be true.  I simply don't know.  I haven't coached females for a long time.  Going back to coaching style, I don't think there is one way that is consistently better than another.  Perhaps situation specific is the way to go.  I have noticed that today's young female players in general are high maintenance.  With today's youth (those DDs folks write about), more than ever, a coach has to read and adjust.  For example, I too would have cringed at an international coach telling the players to "play like little girls" except that Eriksen is a very bright man and his team was down 5-0.  Perhaps, and I don't know, he read a group of women who were already beaten and who were either downtrodden or too up tight, and he was saying "Forget the score.  Get out there and play like little girls - loosen up and play the way you are capable of playing". I did notice that after that their smiles came back on their faces and they began to fight back. At the same time, I noticed the look on Bergey's face.  Good thing she didn't have a gun and whip in the dugout.
No one ever had to tell Bergey to play hard and have fun at the same time, or how to react to adversity.  But that was back then.        Frank

__________________
"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
LMUfan

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Reply with quote  #72 
The "play like little girls" should have been "play like proud Americans and go kick their ass."  But, of course, with a mic on your shirt you have to be politically correct.

I don't want any coach representing me that's OK with having a television network microphone on him. 

Tommy Lasorda, probably the best of the motivating coaches, would never have a mic.  Not because he didn't want to but the networks would never risk it.

If you've ever heard Lasorda in person then you know.  By the time he's done talking you're standing and cheering and ready to march off a cliff for him. 

Frank,
Here's an example of what I consider motivation.  Last year UCLA football was in a game fighting for their life.  Down by two points at the end of the game they drive down the field with the clock running out.  The field goal kicker is a freshman that has had a terrible start to the season.  Missing easy chip shots, even missing extra points.  He replaced probably the best kicker in UCLA history so the fans were really down on him. 

Anyway, they get close to the goal line and with only seconds left a time out is called.  Everyone expects that they'll hand the ball to Jonathan Franklin who is UCLA's all time leading rusher.  He's had a great game and it would great if he ran it for a touchdown winning the game.

You can see Jim Mora on the sideline during the time out.  He's not talking to Franklin, he's talking to Fairbairn, the freshman kicker.  The camera is close and you hear what Mora says.  He puts his hand on Fairbairn's sholulder and says, "I have confidence in you.  Just relax. Now go in there and win this mother f--ker" and gives him a shove toward the field.  The kicker goes in and kicks it right down the center and the Bruins win the game.

That's the kind of moment that inspires the team, inspires the fans, and sets the course for the rest of Fairbairn's career. 

He didn't tell Fairbairn to play like a little boy.
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #73 
Charlie - Love your last line.       Frank

PS - Football coaches have the advantage of pushing the "manhood" button, even today.  Females, in my experience, don't respond well to that with few exceptions.  Even back then.   Today how many stories do we read about D1 coaches being fired because they were too "mean" and players and parents complained?

  STORY TIME:  I am 80 years old.  That is a perspective statement.  When I was a five feet two sophomore in high school (1947) our football coach bumped me in the hallway and then said, "Kid, you're going to be a helluva football player".  I don't think I ever fully fulfilled his prediction, but I sure did try to.  After all, he was "Coach".  I did letter in college twice in football and played one year of minor league football. Baseball was actually my best sport.   

In my senior year at a captain's meeting in the coach's office (I was now 5 feet 11) I asked the Coach about that incident, and he told me that he did that occasionally.  He would physically  bump into a kid in the hallway if he thought the kid might be a football player.  He said that the good ones always shoved back. Then again, there is always that innate in the individual.  I guess it's a fight or flight thing that is automatic or perhaps sociologically or economic level installed.  Did you see Bergey's face when USA was down 5-0?  I loved it !! I've seen that face on my toughest opponents in my numerous fistfights when I was growing up.    I have a name for those kinds of players.  I call them, affectionately and with very great respect, "snotters".
 
They remind me of the poor kid on a sandlot with a ragged old glove, about six to eight years old, baseball and softball hat askew and turned slightly sideways, torn T shirt, and a bit of snot leaking from the nose and barely creasing a dirty face above the lip - with a look in laser eagle eyes above scrawny legs partially hidden by hand me down shorts that says, "You will never hit that friggin ball past me".  It is an attitude.  Perhaps that is what you and Zone find missing in today's female fastpitch player, even at the top levels.
 
I admit that I miss it too, but we live in a different USA world today where our "DD" players grow up with expensive equipment and organized play.  Don't blame them.  They are the product of what we have created and expected.

__________________
"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
LMUfan

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Reply with quote  #74 
Hey, what happened to Lauren Chamberlain?  Is she injured?  I didn't see her play and they didn't talk about her at the World Cup.  She just tweeted that she's in California.  Isn't there a game tonight in Canada?  Is she off the team?

evenflow

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Reply with quote  #75 
she played quite a bit the first 3 games.. didn't get many if any hits..
pinch hit against Puerto Rico and may have tweaked a shoulder..
she's in Cali for the ESPY's with the Oklahoma team
i would assume Destinee Martinez is making that trip also
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #76 
Charlie - Chamberlain is, in my opinion, one of the best hitters in softball and has been for some time.  In the past Tourney she was as bad as anyone could be.  She couldn't touch the outside corner, made terrible at plate adjustments, and never even reacted to the change up.  Why?  I don't have the foggiest.  In a word, she looked terrible.  I'm sure she will come back from that exhibition.   Hitters hit unless they have an absolute weakness which can be exploited at the plate.  
Frank 

PS - At the same time, I remember Vince DiMaggio of the DiMaggio brothers who hit 10 home runs in his first few games with the Pgh Pirates.  Then they found a weakness, and he wound up with 11 for the year.  The word gets around the league fast.  

__________________
"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #77 
Thanks to the military I have lived around the world and I have seen the difference in attitudes of sports country to country.
Americans have a different attitude about many things including sports.

When America wins world cup it was expected and a sigh of relief. When japan just won it they were very excited--it was an accomplishment over a team that plugs in girls each year from it's farm system of great competitive college softball. We watch college softball and unless we recognize a name it doesn't mean much. The players on international teams we know from playing college softball in America we respect as good because we saw them play. Others have to be dominant (not just good) to get on our radar (like Ueno).

USA still dominates all but japan and the talk is as if the team has never lost a game and never lost a championship with even it's best players. Like America will never lose when it fields it's best. But it has.
If America was great hockey team and expected to win in 1980 there would be no "miracle on ice". The americans were not expected to beat the mighty USSR team (and go to finals after that).
It was an epic upset. We as a country still talk about it...not the sports where we were supposed to win...the ones where no one gave us a chance to win and we did.
Upsets are more celebrated and remembered than dominant teams doing what was expected. OU won the wcws this year. It was expected start to finish of season. If Tennessee had won we would still be talking about it. SEC fans would be raving about the conference, some would say OU choked (like some are saying about team usa), and the fans would talk david vs goliath.

Taylor catches the pop up and 4 runs do not score for japan and it changes the game in favor of usa instead of against it. One play can be the difference. One homerun can be the difference in a game so one dropped ball can be. Same in wcws....ten holds it's lead and wins game 1 and we don't know what would have happened in game 2 and 3. Game 1 took the energy out of tenn. You could see it on them when game ended. It was a puinch in the gut. And it equally energized OU. Team usa beats japan in title game and we are talking about why the world cannot catch up to usa except japan winning a game vs them every year. Why can't Canada compete and they have girls from usa college softball? Australia has more now. Puerto rico is screwed even though they do great in baseball. if it was easy to catch up talent wise then all colleges would be equal. Same in the world. remember last season? Team usa rolled all the way to gold medal game in world championships and lost to a team it had just beaten....ala 2008.
I think team usa needs to get out of the compfrt zone and play more international games outside of north America. Japan plays a lot of international comp across the map. Usa and Canada are near home each year. They need these youngsters to toughen up away from friendly confines. Bond with teamamtes on the reoad...the real road (a non-English speaking country)

In person I have seen 1 NPF game, many wcws games over the years, many world cup of softball games, japan pro league games, international softball in Canada (last few years like world championships last year).
I was at Olympic games in Australia and being a sooner I am at the wcws and last year saw games in Canada. 10 years ago I saw games in japan but it was their league not international...and made fun of michelle smith since she is a cowboy from Stillwater Ok and I was a sooner from norman ok. The instate rivalry. Love michelle smith...when she is not talking as an announcer for wcws. her Japanese is great. Mine sucks but was enough to get me by while stationed there. Spanish was required to graduate high school in texas so I kept up with it as well as german in college. Everyone took French so I had to be different and learn german.

Btw....There has to be several people here that were at the Olympics 1996 and attended the softball games? I did not but I wanted to hear from someone that did.

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fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #78 

The girls did not look crisp but them losing to japan in 2013 world cup of softball was not the softball "miracle on ice" for japan ..............this was...................


Japan Ends Americans’ Dominant Run in Softball

By JOHN BRANCH

Published: August 21, 2008


BEIJING — The final Olympic softball game ended with a familiar scene. A team was hugging and crying happy tears at the pitching circle, while another watched silently from the dugout.

Wide swaths of fans stood and cheered and waved to their heroes, while others stood quietly deflated and tried to muster looks of support.

And medals were rewarded and a flag raised. Only this time, the United States softball team was not on the top step of the podium. And the highest flag blowing in the breeze had no stars or stripes, but a rising sun.

It was Japan, not the United States, that won softball's gold medal on a cool and misty evening at Fengtai Softball Field, a 3-1 result that at once hinted to the shifting competitive balance in the sport and put a stunning end to American Olympic dominance.

“Sometimes the game looks easy,” Coach Mike Candrea said. “And it really isn't.”

The United States had won all the previous gold medals in softball, back to 1996. It had beaten 22 consecutive opponents dating to 2000, and outscored its 2008 opponents by 57-2. It looked more than ready to complete its legacy of invincibility in the last game before softball takes an indefinite absence.

The sport has been removed from the Olympic program in 2012, and maybe beyond, meaning that many, if not all, of the well-known players on American team have ended their Olympic careers on a sour and lasting note.

“I really haven't thought about the big picture yet,” pitcher Cat Osterman said. “The loss just hurts too much in the present moment.”

The United States, which had beaten Japan twice earlier in the tournament, was left with the silver medal, and the nagging sense that they have sustained a loss they may never avenge. Australia won the bronze medal.

Osterman gave up two runs, the first earned runs allowed by an American pitcher in these Games, while striking out nine Japanese batters in five innings. The normally dependable American bats went soft when needed most. Twice the Americans were unable to score after loading the bases with one out.

Instead, it was Japan that displayed timely pop in the bat and received the memorable pitching performance. The tireless ace Yukiko Ueno pitched 21 innings in two games the day before, then beat the Americans with a complete-game five-hitter.

Japan's Masumi Mishina doubled off Osterman to start the third inning, then scored on a two-out infield single by Ayumi Karino. Eri Yamada opened the fourth inning with a home run to left-center field, giving Japan a 2-0 lead that sent most of the fans into a cheer-stick frenzy and stunned the American contingent.

“My performance wasn't that bad at all,” Osterman said. “I'd take away two pitches if I could -- the double and the home run.”

Japan's lead handed the American's only their second Olympics deficit since 2000. The other came in the third game of this tournament against Canada. In that game, the United States trailed by 1-0, but stormed back after an overnight rain delay to win, 8-1.

The Americans hoped that another well-timed burst of rain during the gold-medal game would have an equally cleansing effect. Soon after an 18-minute delay, Crystl Bustos opened the bottom of the fourth with a home run into the right-centerfield bleachers. It was her sixth home run of the tournament, an Olympic record.

Bustos was walked her next time up, in the bottom of the sixth with a runner on second and one out. Kelly Kretschman drew a walk, loading the bases for Andrea Duran.

She popped out to shortstop for the second out. Stacey Nuveman popped out to second base to end the threat.

Japan padded its lead in the top of the seventh when Motoko Fujimoto, with one out and runners on second and third, hit a dribbler back to pitcher Monica Abbott. Her throw home was wild and got past Nuveman, the catcher. Megu Hirose scored to make it 3-1.

“I felt like that third run kind of took a little bit out of us,” Nuveman said. “It felt different in the dugout.”

When the final chance came, in the top of the seventh, Caitlin Lowe came to the plate with two outs and a runner on first. She grounded out, sending Japan into a hugging scrum at the pitching circle, and leaving the Americans stunned silently near their bench.

“We've all been on both sides of it -- the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” said Candrea, who also coaches at the University of Arizona and said after the game he likely will step down as the United States coach. Weeks after his wife died from a fatal brain aneurism in 2004, Candrea led the United States to a gold medal at the 2004 Athens Games.

“As I told these ladies tonight, there are going to be other things in life that are more tragic than tonight.”

While it was surprising that the Americans did not win the gold, it was not surprising to softball fans that Japan beat them in an all-or-nothing game. Ueno helped beat the United States four times in international tournaments the past four years, the biggest reason why the Americans were a modest 14-6 against Japan since 2004. She held the United States scoreless through eight innings in the semifinals before allowing four runs in the pivotal ninth inning.

“We can look back and kick ourselves for the things we didn't do,” Nuveman said. “But you've got to give them credit for the things they did do.”

The top-seeded United States had beaten Japan twice earlier in the tournament. The first, during the preliminary, was a 7-0 game shortened by the run rule to five innings. The next, 4-1 in nine innings on Wednesday morning, carried the United States into the gold-medal game.

That second loss sent the Japanese to a gold-medal play-in game against Australia, which Japan won, 4-3 in 12 innings.

But when it counted most, the Americans could not beat the Japanese, and they could not bookend their 12-year Olympic run in gold.

 


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fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #79 
I support team usa but at the same time I am glad they are not as dominating. It is better for the sport and now when they win a championship it won't be taken for granted....they had to go win it. They can be beaten by japan if they are not clicking and japan is. Canada, Australia, and others will continue to fight for who is 3rd best in the world.

The ladies who left to build up NPF are smart. The future of softball is to expand and grow the NPF so you have a league going year after year and career for girls after college softball. Olympics are a once every 4 years. Commit for 4 years for a 2 week tourney and Olympic glory is awesome in short term but not what is best for the sport moving forward. When NPF is at the point where it can support 8 teams coast to coast it will get over the hump. Within 2 years it will be oversaturated with only 4 teams and more will go play overseas or coach. All 4 teams are full of 1, 2, 3 and 4 year players who were college all-americans. So when the next batch of college all-americans graduates next year some all-americans will be beat out for their jobs. Look at the pitching. You added fico, Thomas and others to teams that already had top stars plus you have seasoned vets like abbott. Add 20 players to NPF next year from college plus some who did not make teams in past or got cut. What 20 players are we dropping from teams playing now to make room (drop 5 from each including pitchers).
The future of softball is not Olympics yet...it is building a great league. Olympiucs are for glory once every 4 years...a great league last year after year and grows. It is a career destination and we fans get to see our favorite players in league play. I am proud of the ladies for putting long term best for softball over short term personal glory.

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LMUfan

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Reply with quote  #80 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fhoenix
I support team usa but at the same time I am glad they are not as dominating. It is better for the sport and now when they win a championship it won't be taken for granted.


John Wooden stopped coaching UCLA basketball 38 years ago.  The UCLA fans are not happy any year that the basketball team doesn't win a championship.  Don't expect the USA softball fans' attitude to change any time soon.
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #81 
phoenix - I attended the 1996 Softball Olympics in Columbus, Georgia and even was part of a clinic for Georgia high school coaches and would be pitchers in the Olympic Stadium.  Even attended the Lt. Governors' Bar B Que before the Olympics. I gave my framed and prized poster from that Olympics to Ken Eriksen for his collection of Olympic memorabilia.   I should be glad to answer as best I can any questions asked by my favorite and by far most mature and valid  writer on UCS, he who has risen from the ashes.      Frank

PS - I didn't see the final because Coca Cola bought up all the tickets. I was not pleased.  At least the Chamber of Commerce paid for my lodgings and so forth - what great people. They did a fantastic job, and I especially noticed the grounds crew, hard working and effective.    I did, however, witness Fernandez's wonderful no hit performance which was lost when a player named Brown (Australia by way of UCLA)  homered in extras to "beat" her 1-0 or maybe 2-1.  That homer landed five feet from me in the left field seats (ten years earlier I would have made a lunging catch) , a legitimate shot. I sat with the former coach from Temple University, now deceased, Tony Pignoli, one of the really good guys who said of Lisa's game, "This is all over" (which makes me believe it was 2-1), and I reminded him about what Yogi said. He said, "Frankie, you got it right".   Always gracious.                                                      

 Lisa had numerous strikeouts (I'll guess 16), and her rise ball that day was what pitchers dream of throwing. I believe that she threw a one hitter.  I guess that one flattened out!  All pitchers, in the quiet of their hotel rooms, would ask, "Where the hell were the bats?". I have.  I believe that was against Australia - it's been a long time.  I didn't see  Dot Richardson's (my all time favorite player and maybe intellectually gifted person too)  disputed dinger against China  which won the whole thing for the USA.  
Wonderful times - I miss the emotional investment.  I don't know these young kids as well.  

Questions?????

I've tried my best to remember the name but apologize over and over for my addled brain.  No one threw better for three innings in that Olympics (nerve damage to that arm) than the big lefty from Californis. It's hell to get old and forgetful.  How soon we forget the great ones!  I do apologize because she was tremendous. After 3 innings it was like she fell off a cliff.  Probably swelling.   I could be whacky, but I believe she married a lawyer from Arizona and moved to Alaska. AHA, Granger it is - just popped into my two figure IQ brain which once operated on 3 numbers.  

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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
TheHammer

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Reply with quote  #82 
softball fans: don't you think that our natinal team is not as it used to be.
watch the game a few innings against Japan, but became bored soon after due to the sad way of our hitters.
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #83 
Hammer - You are a day late and a nickel short in getting into that discussion.  The only thing left to say is "I agree with everyone else".  The reasons for that have already been hashed out.     Frank
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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
TheHammer

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Reply with quote  #84 
sorry that i was late the reason is that i was in Las Vegas for a few days without my computer.
had a terrific time and was happy to lose only $3.00.
playmaker1

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Reply with quote  #85 
USA up over Japan 6-1 in the T4 in Canada. Moore in the circle for USA.


USA RUN RULES JAPAN 10-3
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