Sept. 5, 2006
BEIJING, China -
University of Virginia head softball coach Karen Johns helped the 2006 USA National Softball Team win the gold medal at the XI International Softball Federation (ISF) Women's World Championships Tuesday (Sept. 5). Johns served as an assistant coach of the USA National team that defeated Japan 3-0 in the championship game.
The USA earned its sixth consecutive World Championship title and also avenged its first loss in the World Championships since 1998 with the victory over Japan. The USA lost to Japan 3-1 in the second round of the playoffs on Sept. 4 and had to win two games Tuesday to claim the world title. The USA downed Australia 5-1 in the bronze medal game to set up the rematch with Japan for the gold. The USA prevailed 3-0 behind Cat Osterman's one-hitter.
The USA was a perfect 7-0 in pool play, which began on Aug. 27, and defeated Australia 11-2 in the opening round of the playoffs.
Johns, formerly Karen Sanchelli, is the first person to play and coach in the World Championships for the United States. As a catcher, she helped the USA National Team win gold medals at the 1990 and 1994 ISF World Championships.
Arizona head coach Mike Candrea is the head coach of the USA National Team. Johns, along with Chuck D'Arcy and John Rittman, served as Candrea's assistant coaches. The USA National Team won the gold medal and posted a 6-0 record at the II World Cup of Softball, which was held July 13-17 in Oklahoma City, Okla. The team was also selected as the U. S. Olympic Committee's Team of the Month for July.
Johns, who is in her second season as Virginia's head coach, served as an assistant coach with the USA Softball Women's National Team at the 2005 World Cup of Softball where the U.S. lost to Japan in the championship game. She was an assistant coach with the USA Elite Team at the 2005 Canada Cup with the United States falling in the championship game.
In her first season at Virginia in 2006, Johns' Cavaliers posted a 29-26 record. In six seasons as a collegiate head coach, Johns sports a 221-157 record with four NCAA Regionals appearances.
To read Johns' journal about her trip to Beijing with the USA National Team log onto virginiasports.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/va-w-softbl-body.html