12-16-2011 Japan Run Rules USA in Semi’s

Japan Run Rules USA in Semi’s

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 16, 2011

 USA Softball heads to Bronze Medal Game at ISF Junior Women’s World Championship

CAPE TOWN — Japan shutout the United States 9-0 in five innings Friday in the semifinal of the 2011 International Softball Federation Junior Women’s World Championship in Cape Town, South Africa. The Americans (8-1) must beat Chinese Taipei in the Bronze Medal Game Saturday at noon South African Standard Time/4 a.m. CT to meet Japan in the Gold Medal Game at 3 p.m. SAST/7 a.m. CT.

Third baseman Mina Yamashiro, batting in the No. 2 spot, started Japan’s offensive surge with a single to center field. Center fielder Nozomi Nagasaki followed with a double to left field. Yukari Uno singled to left field to bring the first run across the plate. After Ayumi Suzuki struck out swinging, Nagasaki was caught off third base but beat the run down when catcher Amber Freeman’s (Lakewood, Calif.) tag missed her.

“When the team went down 2-0 to Australia yesterday, I was really proud of them for their ability to overcome those mistakes to take the lead,” Head Coach Karen Johns (Whippany, N.J.) said. “Unfortunately, they were not able to get past some of their mistakes today. I still completely believe in these young women and know that they have what it takes to win the Junior Women’s World Championship tomorrow.”

A failure to advance to the Gold Medal Game would mark the American’s lowest finish in the history of the event. Team USA has played in each of the six 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.

Nagasaki led off the third with a triple then made it a 3-0 advantage on a Uno bunt. Japan scored two more runs in the fourth off starter Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif.) then added two more with Nyree White (Eugene, Ore.) pitching in relief. Both pitchers had three earned runs in the contest. 

Lauren Haeger (Phoenix, Ariz.) faced two batters in the fifth. On her first move in the circle, she threw a wild pitch to Nagasaki that allowed Yamashiro to advance to second and Yuka Ichiguchu to take third. A misplayed ball by shortstop Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif.) allowed Nagasaki to reach first, Yamashiro to take second and Ichiguchu to score Japan’s ninth run.

The Americans committed five errors in the contest. 

Japan’s Kasumi Hirahara allowed a double to Cheyenne Cordes (Fairfield, Calif.) in the bottom of the fifth but it was the sole hit for the Americans. She issued a leadoff walk to Hallie Wilson (North Tustin, Calif.) in the first and Kylee Lahners (Laguna Hills, Calif.) in the fourth.

“I had no idea that she was throwing a no hitter,” said third baseman Cordes, who is 12-for-20 in the tournament with three doubles, two triples and two home runs. “Like usual, I went up to the plate relaxed, hoping to get on base so we could start scoring some runs.”

Lauren Chamberlain (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) followed Cordes with a center field fly out. Shiho Kitaoka pitched to the final two batters but neither could advance Cordes. Freeman grounded out to shortstop and Haeger flied out to first base.

Although the Red, White and Blue had a lackluster outing against Japan, the team is hitting .472 in the tournament with 22 doubles, three triples and eight home runs. Led by Coyle (.643), Lahners (.632) and Cordes (.600), eight members of the 2011 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team are batting .500 or better in Cape Town.

Subject to Internet availability, live stats for all of Team USA’s remaining games in Cape Town are available at USASoftball.com. Both medal games are also scheduled for live streaming through the tournament website (http://jwwc2011.co.za/).

C5

12:00PM

New Zealand

VS

Australia

FLD 1

0-7

Commentary
C6

2:30PM

Chinese Taipei

VS

Canada

FLD 1

2-1

Commentary
C7

5:30PM

United States

VS

Japan

FLD 1

9-0

Commentary
C8

7:30PM

Australia

VS

Chinese Taipei

FLD 1

2-3

Commentary

 

The USA and Chinese Taipei did not meet in pool.  Chinese Taipei edged Australia 3-2 in extra innings to advance to the Bronze game.

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