Junior Women top Japan
USA Junior Women Cumulative Stats
Ont. — A series of clutch hitting performances helped the United States
advance to the Gold Medal Game of the 2013 International Softball Federation
(ISF) Junior Women’s World Championship (JWWC) in Brampton, Ontario, Canada the
Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today.
Team USA defeated Japan 4-0 to move on to the Gold Medal Game, which will be
played at 2 p.m. EST tomorrow. The U.S., who is the only undefeated team
left in the JWWC, will face the winner of the Bronze Medal matchup between
Japan and Australia.
came out on fire and ready to play today,” said Head Coach Tairia Flowers. “We
had a couple innings where we played a little too relaxed, but we had some
clutch hits when it was time. Cheridan had another great performance in
the circle, and our defense made some key plays. All those things added
up and everyone worked together to pull out the win. We still haven’t
played our best softball yet, so I’m really excited to get these girls back out
on the field to see what we are truly capable of.”
took some time for the U.S. offense to get things going, as the top of the
lineup was retired in order to start the game. Japan would get a base
runner in the bottom of the first on a hit-by-pitch with two outs, but U.S.
pitcher Cheridan Hawkins (Anderson, Calif.) retired the next batter with a
strikeout. In the second inning, Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif.) hit a
shot down the left field line, recording her third double of the JWWC, however
a fly out to center and a groundout ended the offensive threat.
sides would add a couple runners in the third inning, but failed to
capitalize. It wasn’t until the fourth inning that the Red, White and
Blue put together a series of clutch hits to score their first run of the
game. Emily Crane (Troy, Mo.) started the inning with a double, but
a failed bunt attempt kept her on the bag with one out. A single by
Romero put two base runners on for Lauren Young (Anaheim, Calif.) with two
outs. Young then hit a shot up the middle to score Crane and put the U.S.
two runs crossed the plate in the fifth, starting with Danica Mercado (Temecula,
Calif.) scoring on Crane double. Mysha Sataraka (Honolulu, Hawaii) then
plated Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) with a sac-fly to push the lead to
a quiet sixth inning as both squads were retired in order. The U.S. would
add one more run in the top of the seventh when Sierra Lawrence (Snellville,
Ga.) hit a shot to the fence to reach second base. McCleney then brought
her home with a double, making the score 4-0.
U.S. defense continued to shine as several key performances helped secure the
victory for Team USA. In the bottom of the second inning, McCleney
prevented a rally for Japan with a diving catch to end the inning. The
game also ended with a flawless double play as Sataraka connected with first
baseman Young for an out, who then returned it back to Sataraka to throw out
Japan’s base runner Yuna Aoyagi to end the game.
pitched the full frame for the Red, White and Blue, improving her tournament
record to 4-0. She allowed one hit in her performance, a single by Aoyagi
in the seventh. Hawkins struck out eight, bringing her total to 29 strike outs.
was a great result for us as we faced Japan for the first time,” said Haylie
McCleney. “We handled the pressure really well. We started out a little
shaky, but we came through in the end and got a couple of key hits and great
pitching. We know that was a really big win, but we’ve still got another
big game to play. We can’t wait to play in the Championship Game and to
get the opportunity to play for a Gold Medal. It’s something we’ve all
USA has played in each of the seven previous Championship Games held, defeating
China for the inaugural title in 1987, losing to Japan in 1991, defeating Japan
in 1995 and losing to Japan in 1999 and 2003 before reclaiming the top spot
from Japan in 2007 and 2011.
Sunday (July 7)
GM 9: Australia vs. Japan – 11 a.m. EST (Bronze Medal Game)
GM 10: Winner of GM 9 vs. USA – 2 p.m. EST (Gold Medal Game)
stats for all USA games and live streaming will be available via USASoftball.com.