TEAM OF THE MONTH?
OKLAHOMA CITY — The USA Softball Women’s National Team and Alissa Haber (Newark, Calif.) are nominees for June 2010 awards from the U.S. Olympic Committee. The team is being considered for the Team of the Month Award for their Gold Medal performance at the recent ISF Women’s World Championship while Haber is being considered for the Female Athlete of the Month.
Fan votes count for 10-percent of the total votes while votes of the Olympic Family comprise the rest. The public is allowed to vote via Twitter through the U.S. Olympic Committee’s page at www.twitter.com/USOlympic/. Vote for the WNT by going to http://twtpoll.com/9ukf43 and vote for Haber by going to http://twtpoll.com/puta9c.
In her first appearance at the Worlds, Haber made her presence known, setting several records while helping Team USA to a seventh consecutive World Championship on July 2. Haber’s most impressive performance at Worlds came on June 17 against 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist Australia. She went 3-for-3, hitting two doubles, with one run and four RBI.
In June, Haber played seven games, starting all in the outfield. She went 14-for-20 at the plate with one walk for a .700 average (.615 for the event overall). Even excluding the two World Championship games that fell in July, Haber set the record for most RBI in a World Championship, scoring 19 (20 overall) to push her past Jessica Mendoza’s (Camarillo, Calif.) 16. She ranks fourth for most career RBI at Worlds, trailing three-time World team member Mendoza by only 10 RBI. Haber is now tied for first for the most doubles in a single Worlds, hitting all seven in June, and is second for most hits with 14 of 16 also coming in June.
The USA Softball Women’s National Team went 8-0 in June, en route to winning a seventh-consecutive and ninth-overall Women’s World Championship on July 2 by shutting out 2008 Olympic Champion Japan in Caracas, Venezuela. The USA outscored opponents 84-6 in June (95-6 overall), highlighted by a 7-0, five inning win over host country Venezuela and a 20-0, three inning victory over Botswana. Four June victories were shutouts.
In June, the Americans went 79-for-186 at the plate, averaging .683 as a team. The team hit 18 doubles, including Haber’s seven, nine triples, three by Kaitlin Cochran (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and four home runs, three from Jennie Finch (La Mirada, Calif.). USA batters were walked 30 times and even more impressive, struck out only 21 times in 186 at-bats.
In June 2010, pitchers Finch, Abbott (Salinas, Calif.), Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas) and Women’s National Team rookie Eileen Canney (Paradise, Calif.) all went 2-0 for a combined .80 ERA. Three struck out 13 batters each while Osterman struck out 21, giving the pitching staff a combined 60 strikeouts. The pitchers only allowed only 16 hits in eight games, including two extra base hits. USA fielders had two errors, compared to the opponents combined 17.
Overall for the Worlds, the 2010 team and team members rank highly. They now rank No. 1 in the history of the World Championships in batting average (.402), runs scored (95), RBI (78), walks (37) and triples (10). They are third in hits (92), second in doubles (20) and fifth in home runs (5).
The 229 at-bats ranks the 2010 team fourth. Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.), Haber and Natasha Watley (Irvine, Calif.) rank 1-2-3 in event batting average with .625, .615 and .542 respectively. Haber is tied for first with the most doubles (7). Cochran is tied for second in triples with three. Finch is tied for third in home runs with three. Mendoza, Watley, Cochran and Andrea Duran (Selma, Calif.) were walked five times, tying them for second.