Women’s National Team Coaching staffs announced for 2018 season

By Codi Warren (cwarren@usasoftball.com) | April 04, 2018, 3:12 p.m. (ET)

OKLAHOMA CITY – USA Softball, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, announced today the complete coaching staffs for the 2018 USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) Program.  Selected from the USA Softball WNT Coaching Pool, the coaches selected will lead their respective teams as they compete in tour stops and international competitions.

At the Japan All Star Series, the first event for the USA Softball WNT this summer, four-time Olympian Laura Berg (Corvallis, Ore./head coach at Oregon State) will lead the Red, White and Blue and will be joined by assistant coaches Patty Gasso (Norman, Okla./head coach at Oklahoma), Melyssa Lombardi (Norman, Okla./associate head coach at Oklahoma) and two-time Olympian Natasha Watley (Irvine, Calif.).  Berg and Watley were a part of the 2017 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team coaching staff that led the U.S to a dominating Gold Medal performance at the 2017 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Junior Women’s World Championship.  Both Gasso and Lombardi, who have guided the Oklahoma Sooners to three National Championships in the last five years, will head into their first assignment as coaches for the National Team Program.

For the USA Softball International Cup, Ken Eriksen (Tampa, Fla./head coach at South Florida) will lead the WBSC World Championship roster and will be joined by Howard Dobson (Baton Rouge, La./assistant coach at LSU) and Heather Tarr (Redmond, Wash./head coach at Washington).  All three return to the WNT program after guiding the U.S. to the Gold at last year’s Pan American Championship in the Dominican Republic.  Gasso will lead the second U.S. roster, while Berg, Lombardi and Watley will serve as assistants.

At the WBSC Women’s World Championship, Eriksen will be joined by Dobson, Tarr and Berg in Chiba, Japan.  The U.S. will look to defend their Gold Medal finish at the 2016 World Championship and qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Click here to see the Japan All Star Series roster and the WBSC Women’s World Championship roster

The coaching staff for the Japan Cup, which will be held in November in Takasaki, Japan, will be announced at a later date.

For more information on the USA Softball National Team program, please visit USASoftball.com.

About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 69 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million.  USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch.  USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships.  The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game. 

As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit,
www.USASoftball.com.

About the World Baseball Softball Confederation 

Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland -- the Olympic Capital -- the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the world governing body for baseball and softball. WBSC has 202 National Federation and Associate Members in 143 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania, which represent a united baseball/softball sports movement that encompasses over 65 million athletes and attracts approximately 150 million fans to stadiums worldwide annually. 

The WBSC governs all international competitions involving official National Teams. The WBSC oversees the Softball World Championships (Men, Women, U-19 Men, and U-19 Women), Premier12, World Baseball Classic, and Baseball World Cups (U-12, U-15, U-18, U-23 and Women's).

For more information, visit: www.wbsc.org.