Jordan Taylor voices over and over again that she doesn’t get nervous, no matter the magnitude of the game or the talent sitting in the opposing dugout.

There’s no better example of her confidence than her superb performance in the World Cup of Softball championship game, pitching masterfully against Japan to help the USA National Team to a 6-4 victory and its fifth-straight World Cup title.

“It was a good win and it was exciting, especially because our team hasn’t been together for very long,” Taylor said. “We were kind of thrown together from all across different programs so it was just really exciting to get the win.”

After a outing against Australia in which she earned a no decision, but stuck out seven and allowed only one earned run, Taylor was confident in her ability to limit a dangerous Japan team – one that led the World Cup in scoring with 38 runs through the first five games.

“I wasn’t nervous,” Taylor said. “(It was) same old, same old.”

It sure felt like it was the same old Jordan Taylor that terrorized hitters as a member of the Michigan softball team. Dominating the high-scoring Japan squad early, she breezed through the first four innings without allowing a hit while striking out four.

While Taylor controlled the game from the mound, her USA teammates provided some early support.

With the pressure on Japan pitcher Makiko Fujiwara, Team USA capitalized on her anxious demeanor and erratic pitching. It displayed patience as Makiko walked four straight batters, the last one to first baseman Valerie Arioto that scored a run. Catcher Brittany Schutte then hit a sacrifice fly to left field to give Taylor a comfortable two-run lead — USA added another run in the third inning as well.

But after four spectacular innings, Taylor got herself into some trouble in the top of the fifth inning. After walking the leadoff batter and allowing a stolen base, Taylor committed a fielding error on a grounder up the middle. After another stolen base, Taylor found herself in a difficult situation with runners at second and third with no outs.

“The key in a situation like that is just to stay calm when everything is falling apart,” Taylor said. “If the pitcher shows that she’s nervous or that she’s lost it, then everyone else does and that’s when errors happen and offenses take advantage of that. I just tried to stay as cool, calm and collected as possible so everyone else behind me stayed calm so we could make plays to get out of the inning.”

Unfazed by the situation, Taylor got the next batter to ground out to shortstop. After a fortuitous bounce on a chopper down the third base line that hit Mika Suzuki on her way home, Taylor finished off the half inning by striking out Yumi Iwabuchi, allowing only one run in the process.

After allowing an unearned run, Taylor was pulled with one out in the top of the sixth inning. Satisfied with her performance, Taylor was confident in her teammates’ abilities to finish off the game for her.

“I felt completely fine coming out of (the game),” Taylor said. “I knew that Chelsea Thomas was going to get us out of the inning.”

Taylor exited the game allowing only one earned run and three hits while striking out five and walking one.

Thomas and Keilani Ricketts finished off the game for Team USA, giving Taylor her first win in the World Cup of Softball.

“You do all this work just to get to higher levels and to pitch a little better so it feels really good to have a little bit of payoff for all that hard work,” Taylor said.

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