Jordan Taylor gets start tonight for rebuilt Team USA at World Cup of Softball
Former Michigan pitcher Jordan Taylor is among a new era of U.S. national softball team players.
Taylor is expected to be in the circle Friday night when Team USA plays Australia (8 p.m., ESPN) in the second game of the World Cup of Softball being played at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
AnnArbor.com file photo
Taylor, who is 4-0 with a 0.33 ERA this summer for Team USA, is part of a team rebuilt national team. Just three players have national team experience. Instead of the veterans who once were a dominant force in international softball, this is an inexperienced bunch.
Superstar Jennie Finch retired from the U.S. team during last year's World Cup, and Jessica Mendoza, Cat Osterman and Natasha Watley are among several former Olympic gold medalists who decided not to return to the team this year.
In their first international game on their home soil, the new batch of Americans beat the Czech Republic 7-2 Thursday night.
First-year coach Ken Eriksen said his youngsters are still learning.
"It's a little bit different when you're representing the entire country than it is one school," he said.
Team USA’s other opponents at the World Cup of Softball will include Canada, Great Britain and Japan.
Japan beat the U.S. 7-0 in the championship game of last week’s Canadian Open.
The World Cup is the second of three international competitions the national team will play this summer. In October, it travels to the Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Taylor finished her Michigan career as the program's all-time leader in appearances (162), starts (124), innings pitched (853.2), wins (107), winning percentage (.863), strikeouts (1,220), saves (17) and no-hitters (8).
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Rich Rezler at 734-623-2553 or firstname.lastname@example.org.