WWC FINAL RECAP
July 2 2010
USA BLANKS JAPAN FOR WORLD TITLE; CANADA TAKES BRONZE
Team USA successfully defended their International Softball Federation women’s world championship title, shutting out the Olympic champions.
CARACAS, VENEZUELA — Team USA posted a 7-0 victory over Japan here tonight to take the gold medals at the International Softball Federation’s XII Women’s World Championship. Canada took home the bronze medals after falling to Japan, 12-3, in the game that allowed the winners to advance to face the Americans.
The tournament began ten days ago with 16 countries participating.
2010 marked the 45-year anniversary of the first-ever softball world championship as five women’s national teams had competed in February 1965 in Melbourne, Australia.
The USA-Japan-Canada finish ensures that the streak remains intact of no back-to-back ISF women’s world championships having the same top three finishers (in order).
Canada’s bronze is their first ISF women’s world championship medal finish since the fourth edition of the event in 1978 in El Salvador (silver).
Pitcher Cat Osterman started the game tonight for Team USA but gave way to Monica Abbott after three innings, seemingly due to shoulder soreness but definitely not performance-related. Offensively their teammates came alive in the fourth inning after the teams had gone scoreless through three. The Americans sent nine batters to the plate in the fourth with five runs being scored. One inning later they tacked on two more when Andrea Duran hit a two-run home run to left field.
Japan went through three pitchers, Makiko Fujiwara, Sayuri Yamane, and Mika Someya. The Osterman-Abbott duo held Japan to just two hits.
Japan had defeated the U.S. two years ago in the gold medal game at the Olympic softball competition in Beijing, but the two teams squared off yesterday in a playoff game that Team USA won, 4-0, on a complete-game, 12-strikeout, one-hitter by Osterman.
Japan started today with another 0-0 start, tied with Canada after one inning, but they went on to score at least one run in every inning thereafter, including three in the second and five in the top of the seventh when they sent all nine batters to the plate.
Danielle Lawrie started in the circle for Canada but was replaced by Jenna Caira, who was later relieved by Ashley Lanz as there was no answer for an explosive Japan offense that totaled 13 hits.
For Japan Mika Someya threw six-and-two-thirds innings, allowing six hits, striking out five, and walking just one.
This evening finished up with elaborate Closing Ceremonies that included the presentation of the medals, music, dancers, a montage on four huge video screens of still photos from the tournament, and a tremendous fireworks display.
The other teams that had played in the tournament were: Argentina, Australia, Botswana, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Great Britain, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, and Venezuela.
The next ISF world championship will be the junior women’s (age 19-and-under), which will take place in Cape Town, South Africa, next year (December 6-17, 2011).