IRVINE, Calif. –The USA Softball Women’s National team defeated No. 2 seed Japan 6-1 to win the World Cup of Softball X Championship on Sunday in Irvine, Calif. The U.S. finished with a 7-1 overall record. This was the seventh time that Team USA has played Japan in the Championship, with the USA improving to 5-2 in those games. This win marked the eighth time that Team USA has been crowned the World Cup of Softball Champions. The Junior National team clinched fifth place at World Cup X on Sunday afternoon with a 6-5 win over Mexico.
Final Standings from the World Cup of Softball X:
Fifth- USA Juniors
Third- Puerto Rico
NOTE: Also attached are box scores as PDF files for each of today’s games.
Game One: Venezuela 3, Argentina 0
Venezuela kicked off Championship Sunday at the World Cup of Softball X with a 3-0 win over Argentina. Both teams struggled to hit the ball, as there were a combined six hits all game. The game was finally broken open in the bottom of the sixth inning, as an RBI single by Ana Coscorrosa scored Maria Soto. Yaicey Sojo went 1-for-2 for Venezuela, bringing in the other two runs of the game.
Alondra Perez worked her way out of a handful of tricky spots earning the win for Venezuela, pitching just over one and two-thirds innings and allowing no hits. Lindsay Rich took the loss for Argentina, despite going six innings and only giving up one hit.
Game Two: USA Juniors 6, Mexico 5
In the second game of Championship Sunday, the USA Juniors defeated Mexico and finished in fifth place with the win at the World Cup of Softball X. Mexico came out strong, scoring five runs in the first four innings. The Juniors were struggling and down by four runs until Madilyn Nickles (Merced, Calif.) brought home Nicole DeWitt (Garden Grove, Calif.) in the fourth inning. Getting the second run on the board ignited a spark for the Juniors. The Juniors took control of the game in the fifth as they were able to string together several hits. Astin Donovan (Guilford, Conn.) surprised Mexico with a quick bunt that resulted in a huge inning in which three runs were scored to tie the game.
Zoe Conley () came into the game and was lights out for the Juniors, earning the win and allowing only one hit. Nickles was huge again in today’s game as she has been throughout the entire tournament, getting on base three times in the game, while also bringing home two RBIs.
“I came into the game and just gave it my all, said Conley.” “I’ll do anything for this team and I’m just glad that I could contribute to this big win.”
The Juniors finished 4-4 this week at the World Cup of Softball X, beating Mexico twice.
“I think our girls learned a lot this week,” said Tairia Flowers (Tuscon, Ariz.) head coach of the USA Juniors. “We struggled at the beginning of several games, but we have a bunch of tough girls and I think that’s why we come back when things aren’t looking good for us. We have a lot of room to improve, as we prepare for the Junior Women’s World Championship next month in Oklahoma City.”
Cheyanne Tarango took the look for Mexico, going four and one-third innings and giving up five runs.
Game Three: Puerto Rico 3, Canada 2
Puerto Rico was able to pull out a 3-2 win against Canada at the World Cup of Softball X in the third game of the Championship Sunday. A huge three run first inning was enough, as Karla Claudio Rivera led the way for Puerto Rico with her huge three run bomb in the first inning. Puerto Rico would not relinquish the lead, as Canada fought their way back all game. The game ended as Canada was making a late push, with runners in scoring position.
Meghan King was lights out for Puerto Rico, going the whole distance and only giving up five hits. Jocelyn Carter took the loss for Canada, lasting only two and two-thirds innings and giving up three runs.
The third place finish was the best for Puerto Rico in the World Cup of Softball history.
Game Four: USA 6, Japan 1
Team USA beat Japan 6-1 in the Championship game at the World Cup of Softball X in Irvine, Calif. Team USA came out with something to prove in the first inning, as Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) brought in two RBI with a huge triple. The defense and pitching was excellent for both teams the next few innings. Saki Yamazaki put Japan on the board in the top of the fourth inning with a home run. Team USA tacked on three more runs in the sixth inning, as Janelle Lindvall’s (Stevenson Ranch, Calif.) double put the game away.
“Defense and pitchers did great,” said Chidester. “It was a great team win today. It was huge to get the international experience out here before we head to the Pan American games. It gives our young team a lot to take away moving forward.”
Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif.) got the win for Team USA, going four and one-third innings and allowed only one run. Sara Nevins (Pineallas Park, Fla.) gave up no hits in relief of Moore. Kasumi Hirahara took the loss for Japan, lasting only one inning and gave up three runs.
“We always talk about winning the first inning defensively and offensively to get us off to a good start, said Ken Eriksen (Tampa, Fla.) head coach of Team USA. “Jessica Moore did a phenomenal job of getting some of the best batters in the world out in the first inning. I also thought Janelle did a great job catching the whole game. All her hard work also paid off with the big hit late in the game to help us clinch it.”
Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) helped out in different ways, finding her way onto the bases and scoring twice without having a single hit.
About ASA/USA Softball
Founded in 1933, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball is the National Governing Body Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, ASA/USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 74 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 165,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2.5 million. ASA/USA is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles as well as claimed eight World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about ASA/USA Softball, please visit http://www.asausasoftball.com/.
About the World Baseball Softball Confederation
Headquartered in the Olympic Capital city of Lausanne, Switzerland, the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) was established in April 2013 and granted recognition as the sole competent authority in baseball and softball by the International Olympic Committee at the 125th IOC Session in September 2013. The WBSC represents a united baseball/softball sports movement that encompasses over 65 million athletes worldwide. The WBSC governs all international competitions involving any of the National Teams of its 141 National Federation members. The WBSC oversees the Softball World Championships, The Premier 12, the World Baseball Classic, and the U12, U15, U18, U21 and Women’s Baseball World Cups. For further information, please go to www.WBSC.co or follow the WBSC on Twitter at @WBSC.