WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY
The Gold medal game, climaxing the 2012 WWFC championship, is a rematch of Team USA and Team Japan, a game which Japan set into motion with its early afternoon defeat of Australia, 2-0, in the Bronze medal game.
Japan defeated Australia behind Olympic pitcher Yukiko Ueno. Another Olympian, Eri Yamada scored top 1st; after singling, Yamada stole 2nd; advanced to 3rd on the first of three Australian errors, and scored on Misato’s single. Top 5th: Nishiyama singled; Mine sacrificed; Furuta singled in the second run. Ueno gave up 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 9. Stokes gave up the first run, Parnaby the second.
JAPAN 2, USA 1 (10)
Both teams started their aces, Keilani Ricketts for USA, Yukiko Ueno for Japan. Ricketts prevailed 3-1 in eight innings Saturday night in
relief, with Ueno the loser. At Canadian Open, the teams split in pool but Japan won the championship.
Top 1st: Japan at bat. Yamada singled. Misato, Nishiyama and Yukiyo struck out swinging. Bottom 1st; Moultrie grounded to short. S Johnson walked. Gibson, who had homered off Ueno last night, struck out swinging. Cochran struck out swinging.
Top 2nd: Maki walked. Haruna hit into a 5-6 force. Yumi struck out swinging. Okubo struck out. Bottom: Arioto popped to the catcher. Chidester singled, but was forced by Holcombe. M Johnson struck out swinging.
Top 3rd: Ueno grounded to 3rd. Yamada out at 1st. Misato out at 1st. Bottom: Orgeron struck out swinging. Moultrie out 3-4. S Johnson grounded to 3rd.
Top 4th: Nishiyama out 3-4. Yukiyo singled. Pinch runner Mari advances on a wild pitch. Maki grounds out to 3rd. Haruna hit by pitch. Iwabuchi strikes out swinging. Bottom: Gibson strikes out. Cochran flies out to left. Arioto grounds out to 3rd.
Top 5th: Okubo strikes out swinging. Ueno grounds out to 2nd. Yamada singles. Misato flies out to 3rd. Bottom: Chidester flies out to 3rd. Holcombe grounds out to 3rd. Ricketts strikes out swinging. After five innings, the USA has one hit, Japan three. Ricketts has 7 Ks, Ueno 6.
Top 6th: Nishiyama put out at 1st. Yukiyo worked a 3-2 count, grounded back to Ricketts. Furuta flied out to right. Bottom: Orgeron opened with a single, only the second hit off Ueno. Top of the order, Moultrie flied out to 1st. S. Johnson grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.
Top 7th: Sakamoto grounds to 3rd. Iwabuchi strikes out swinging. Okubo put out at 1st. Bottom: Gibson, who drove in two of the three USA runs last night, flies out to short. Cochran, on a 3-2 count, walks. Arioto flies out to right. Chidester grounds to 3rd. End of regulation.
Top 8th: Okubo on 2nd as the ITB runner. Kazuki struck out swinging, Ricketts ninth K. Yamada flied out to center, a deep shot which could have been a 2-eun homer, but Moultrie reached across the fence to catch the ball. Misato was intentionally walked. Fujino at bat, Okubo was caught stealing, 5-2. Bottom: Chidester ITB at 2nd. Holcombe sacrifices, 5-4, Holcombe to 3rd. Fischer, pinch-hitting for M Johnson, flies out to left. Orgeron, who had one of two USA hits, struck out swinging on a 3-2 count. Ueno’s 7th.
Top 9th: Misato on 2nd, ITB. Nishiyama sacrifices, 5-4, Misato advances to 3rd. Mine strikes out swinging, Ricketts tenth K. Furuta singled, Misato scored. Thomas relieves Ricketts, who left after 4 hits, 1 run, 10 Ks. Sakamoto grounded out to 2nd. Bottom: Orgeron on 2nd, ITB. Top of the USA order. Moultrie sacrifices 5-4, Orgeron to 3rd. S Johnson fouled off six pitches before grounding out to Ueno. Gibson, whose hitting put the USA into the championship game, now had USA survival in her bat, fouled off two pitches on a 2-2 count, then singled to left, Orgeron scores the tying run. The third hit off Ueno brings Cochran to the plate, flies out to short. 1-1.
Top 10th: ITB, Sakamoto on 2nd. Jackie Traina pitching for USA. Iwabuchi sacrifices 5-4, Sakamoto to 3rd. Okubo advances on fielder’s choice, Sakamoto scores. Ueno strikes out swinging. Yamada singles for the third time, runners at the corners. Misato hits back to Ricketts, who re-entered to secure the final out. Japan now had 5 hits to 3 for the USA, with a 2-1 lead. Bottom: Cochran on 2nd as ITB runner. Arioto , swinging away, fouls off four pitches on a 2-2 count, grounds out to short. Chidester, also swinging away, strikes out swinging. Holcombe at bat, USA down to one out, grounds out to 2nd.
Japan wins 2012 ISF World Championship. Japan won behind a brilliant effort from Yukiko Ueno, pitching her second game of the day. Ueno gave up 3 hits, walked 2, struck out 8 while yielding one run. Traina takes the loss.
The win by Japan broke a string of nine consecutive world championships for the USA, stretching across 21 years. This year the USA had a 9-1 record, outscoring opponents 86-6. The 2012 squad ended their season with a 23-2 record, both loses to Japan in gold medal games — at the Canadian open and in Whitehorse. The 2012 World Championship will be in August 2013 in the Netherlands.