8-27-2014 Did Japan’s ISF Win Boost 2020


Japan’s gold at Women’s Softball World Championship drives interest in return of Softball, Baseball at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
- Softball world title staged in Europe for first time showcases growth of women’s sport in new markets
HAARLEM, Netherlands — Japan defeated the United States, 4-1, to win the first ever Women’s Softball World Championship held in Europe, highlighting softball’s continued expansion beyond traditional geographic boundaries as one of the world’s most commercially successful, and popular spectator and participation sports for women, young girls and families.

Australia earned the bronze to spread the medal distribution of the women’s championship among the Americas, Asia and Oceania. (See Photos.)

“We are developing the sports of softball and baseball in many areas such as the Muslim world, in Africa, and in Europe where interest, awareness, and club numbers and players are continuing to grow on this historic, sports loving continent, the cradle of modern sport,”said World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) President, Riccardo Fraccari.

Japan, the 2008 Olympic softball champions, finished softball’s pinnacle global event with a perfect tournament record of 10-0, fueling further national speculation, interest and excitement in Japan about the possible inclusion of softball and baseball, the two most popular sports in the 2020 Olympic host nation, at the Tokyo Games.

With the Olympic sports selection process up for discussion at the IOC Session in Monaco in December, leadership of the WBSC, the recently merged international baseball and softball confederation, remains committed to working with the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organisers to earn the honour of having the sports included at the Olympic Games.

“Japan, like many other countries around the world, is a baseball and softball nation, and we are doing all we can to maximize the added-value that our bat-and-ball sports would deliver to the Olympic Games,” President Fraccari said.

“We believe that the deep national history, pride and passion for baseball and softball in Japan, at all levels of Japanese society, would enable these sports to bring great value and enhance the Olympic experience at the Tokyo Games and for the 2020 Olympic host nation of Japan.”

“The ten-day spectacle of women’s sport highlighted softball’s growing global popularity as one of the world’s premier sports for women,” said Dale McMann, WBSC Executive Vice President.

The XIV Women’s Softball Championship featured sixteen national teams — the maximum allowed — from five world regions, and included Australia, Botswana, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Russia and United States.

“This was a premium event, with teams from three different continents in the top three,” said Low Beng Choo, WBSC Secretary General.

“The medal distribution from the Americas to Asia and Oceania highlights the global spread and excellence of the sport and the athletes, and increases opportunities and awareness of women’s sport,” Low said.

The attention will now shift to Miyazaki, Japan for the ENEOS Presents Women’s Baseball World Cup 2014, which begins September 1.

* 14th Women’s Softball World Championship
Final Standings
1. Japan
2. United States
3. Australia
4. Canada
5. Chinese Taipei
6. Netherlands
7. China
8. New Zealand
9. Cuba
11. Czech Republic
12. Dominican Republic
13. Russia
14. Botswana
15. Puerto Rico
16. Great Britain



USA Softball’s Valerie Arioto named Sportswoman of the Year award finalist; Vote for Val!


OKLAHOMA CITY – USA Softball Women’s National Team first baseman Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) has been selected as a finalist for the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Sportswomen of the Year award in the team sport category the Women’s Sports Foundation announced today. A member of the USA Softball Women’s National Team since 2011, Arioto was selected based on her achievements between August 1, 2013 and July 31, 2014.


Arioto helped Team USA capture a Gold Medal at the Pan American Games Qualifier in August 2013, where she batted .500 with five home runs, 18 RBI and 13 runs scored. Most recently, Arioto helped lead the 2014 USA Softball Women’s National Team to a Gold Medal at the General Tire World Cup of Softball IX in Irvine, Calif. The University of California – Berkley grad turned in a .400 performance at the plate, sending five balls out of the park to record 12 RBI while scoring seven runs. Arioto finished the General Tire World Cup IX with a 1.400 slugging percentage and a 1.926 on-base percentage.


A two-time USA Softball Female Athlete of the Year, Arioto also earned a silver medal at the Canadian Open Fast Pitch International this past July where she continued to shine in the batter’s box. Arioto compiled a .474 batting average with five home runs, 14 RBI and 12 runs scored.


The Sportswoman of the Year award winners will be determined by a combination of a public vote (50%) and the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Awards Committee’s vote (50%). The winners will be the two athletes – one individual sport finalist and one team sport finalist – who receive the highest combined share of a public vote and the Awards Committee vote. Voting has already begun, and fans can visit http://wspr.tc/VoteTeamSOY2014 to cast their vote for the Sportswoman of the Year award. Fan voting will conclude on September 8.


The winner in each category will be invited to attend the Annual Salute to Women in Sports Awards Gala on Wednesday, October 15 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City, where they will accept their awards.


Past USA Softball Women’s National Team members who have won the Women’s Sports Foundation Sportswomen of the Year award include Lisa Fernandez (1994), Cat Osterman (2005), Monica Abbott (2007), and Jessica Mendoza (2008).



USSSA Pride Defeats the Akron Racers, 8-3, to Win NPF Championship

August 23, 2014 – National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)

Hoover, AL – August 23, 2014 – A seven-run sixth inning for the USSSA Pride was the difference as they swept the two-game series with the Akron Racers and won the Cowles Cup for the second year in a row. A crowd of nearly 1,300 was on hand at the Hoover Met to watch the championship final.

The Racers got a two-out rally going in the bottom of the first starting with a base hit by first baseman Charlotte Morgan. Designated player Jessica Garcia then drilled the first pitch from Pride starting pitcher Keilani Ricketts over the fence in center field for a two-run homer and a 2-0 lead. It was Garcia’s second home run of the championship series.

Danielle Lawrie came on to pitch for the Pride in the bottom of the second. Ricketts gave up three hits and two earned runs, along with one strikeout, in her one inning of work.

For Akron, starting pitcher Lisa Norris retired the first seven batters she faced before a double into the left-field corner by Pride catcher Megan Willis with one out in the top of the third. Cassie Tysarczyk pinch ran for Willis and scored on a two-out, RBI single to center by leftfielder Natasha Watley, cutting the Akron lead to 2-1.

Lawrie was strong in relief for the Pride, retiring the first six Akron batters she faced, including three strikeouts.

The Pride tied the game in the top of the sixth on a solo home run by second baseman Brigette Del Ponte. Watley followed with a single, and then centerfielder Caitlin Lowe reached on an error. The throw by shortstop Nerissa Myers went into the stands, advancing Watley to third and Lowe to second. Norris intentionally walked shortstop Madison Shipman to load the bases with no outs.

The Pride took the lead on a RBI single to right field by third baseman Andrea Duran, scoring Watley. That was followed by an RBI single to left by first baseman GiOnna DiSalvatore, scoring Lowe. The Pride led 4-2 and still had the bases loaded with no outs; Alison Owen came on to pitch for Akron.

Rightfielder Kelly Kretschman singled to center field, driving in two more runs. The Pride led 6-2, and added another run when pinch runner Sharonda McDonald tagged and scored on a sacrifice fly by designated player Amanda Kamekona. It was 8-2 for the Pride after an RBI single to left by Willis. Akron then brought in Hannah Campbell to relieve Owen.

In the sixth, the Pride sent 11 batters to the plate, scoring seven runs on six hits, one walk and one error.

Akron mounted a threat in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases with two outs on singles by Carcia and centerfielder Taylor Schlopy, as well as an error by Lawrie. With the bases load, Lawrie got catcher Haley Outon to ground out to short, ending the inning.

Lawrie picked up the win in relief, allowing one run on three hits in six innings of work. She retired 12 of the first 13 batters she faced after coming on for the Pride.

Pride pitcher Cat Osterman, who threw a complete-game shutout with 12 strikeouts in the opener of the best-of-three series, was named MVP of the Championship Series; it was the second consecutive year she earned the honor and the third time in her career.


ISF World Championship

Japan defended its 2012 ISF title by defeating the USA on Sunday, 4-1.
As she has been so often in international competition, the winning pitcher was Yukiko Ueno, who had also beaten the USA earlier in the tournament.
The USA defeated Australia 8-1 in the Bronze medaL GAME, BEHIND PITCHERS jACLYN tRAINa AND jOLENE hENDERSON. Chavanne drove in 3 runs; Stewart scored on a single and triple; Fischer and Arioto each drove in 2 runs.
Moore started for the USA in the Gold medal game but was knocked out top 1st when Japan scored 4 runs including a 2-run double by Sakamoto. Nevins relieved with the score 4-0.Japan would add 2 more runs off Nevins before Traina relieved. Moore came back to pitch the 7th.
USA hitters racked six hits off Ueno, with three walks and 6 strikeouts. Japan had eight hits, with 5 walks and 3 Ks.


Spy is returning home Monday.