UCSB's Jessica Mendoza Leads Team USA to World Cup of Softball Championship

July 25, 2006

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - UC Santa Barbara assistant softball coach Jessica Mendoza continued to excel at the national level, guiding Team USA to a perfect 5-0 record in pool play and to a 5-2 victory over Japan in the Championship game of the World Cup of Softball held July 13-17 in Oklahoma City, Okla.

The Camarillo, Calif. native powered the Team USA offense with three home runs, 16 RBI and posted a team-high tying 11 hits in World Cup play. She also finished second in overall batting, hitting .611 during the tournament.

After dropping a 3-1 heartbreaker in last year's title game, the U.S. squad jumped on Japan early and never looked back. Mendoza, who won a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, drove in Team USA's first run on a single to left field in the bottom of the first inning.

"Coming off of last year and having another team beat you on your own turf - now that really set the tone for the whole tournament," said Mendoza. "Having over 6,000 fans saying your name, I mean there's nothing you can do but hit the ball hard."

A four-time NFCA First Team All-American at Stanford (1999-2002), Mendoza was the first player in school history to be named to the first team. She led the Cardinal to its first College World Series in 2001 and was named to the All-Tournament Team that year.

Since joining the U.S. National Team, Mendoza has gone on to win the 2002 Japan Cup Best Batter Award and medal at the 2002 ISF World Championships. She was also a gold medalist in the 2003 Pan American games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

In her first season at UCSB, Mendoza helped guide the Gauchos back to postseason play in 2006. Serving as a part-time assistant coach, she worked on hitting and slapping and was the outfielders coach, defensively.

Courtesy of USAsoftball.com