Currently the United States women's softball team has been dominating international play. The gold has been taken in three separate Olympic matches, and those consecutively. The US women's softball team has also taken a divine seven world championships--again, consecutively.
Before, in 2008, they took the silver at the Beijing Olympics--which is still pretty darn exceptional. With a top-tier roster that includes heavy hitters from across the country, this year's Rio Olympics are set to be another win. But with such an extensive winning streak, fans are definitely nervous.
The Knowledgeable Ken Eriksen
Ken Eriksen has coached women's softball for nineteen years, and has had a winning season for seventeen of those years. The man is one of only twenty-two living coaches to have more than eight hundred wins under his belt. He's only had four hundred and thirty-six losses, and one tie. Ken is dedicated--so dedicated that he pushes his girls to their utter limits.
Consider the aphorism which adorns the door above his office: "Expect perfection, accept excellence". That's a perspective that will take every detail of every play, every player's weakness, every player's strength, and every dynamic of the field where the game is played into consideration. That's the kind of individual who looks at the very wind and makes advisements accordingly.
The thing about a big softball game is that it eventually becomes very similar to a chess match. There's a reason this particular sport is always tied to strategy: it involves quite a bit of it. Strategically, little details left unattended can accumulate over time until they reach a critical mass which loses a game. But catching them can help curtail losses, and a man striving for perfection is going to do that.
The Team of Girls Going to Rio
Ali Aguilar is one of the newest additions to the women's softball team that will be competing in Rio this year. Ali is one of the top fifty players in the world, but she's not alone in skill. The USA Softball Team did their research:
- Raven Chavanne from Thousand Oaks, CA,
- Amanda Chidester of Allen Park, Michigan,
- Sam Fischer of Simi Valley, CA,
- Kellie Fox of San Diego,
- Lauren Gibson of Pasadena, MD,
- Jolene Henderson from Elk Grove, CA,
- Taylor Hoagland from Flower Mound, TX,
- Destinee Martinez from Corona, CA,
- Haylie McCleney of Morris, AL,
- Jessica Moore--an exceptional pitcher--from Sutter, CA;
- Michelle Moultrie from Jacksonville, FL,
- Sara Nevins from Pineallas Park, CA,
- Jessica Plaza of Huntington Beach, CA,
- Kelsey Stewart of Wichita,
- Jaclyn Traina, another exceptional pitcher from Naples FL,
- Halie Wilson.
These girls have been bringing the heat for years, and they're poised to dominate RIO in this Summer's games.
Time And Development
Ken Eriksen has dealt with many different players over his nineteen years' tenure coaching the game, and so has developed an exceptional system of playing and training that he continuously imparts to those playing softball under his leadership. The girls on the team now have had a long time to practice with Eriksen, and his skills as a coach have paid off.
They've won continuous championships, and consistently prevent other teams from even scoring. In 2004, the women's team managed to keep any opponents from scoring in six games. In the seventh, an Australian team managed to take one run. In nine games, this was the first run that had been scored against the Americans. At the Olympic level; the highest sporting level that can be achieved. Such mighty dedication will hopefully win the girls the gold this year in Rio. Either way, the game will be exciting!