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No. 1 Japan wins World Cup of Softball over No. 2 USA

posted Jul 16, 2017, 8:27 PM by Jairy Otero

No. 1 Japan wins World Cup of Softball over No. 2 USA

OKLAHOMA CITY – It was a typical high-level, competitive match between the top two ranked National Teams in the world – Japan and USA – in the WBSC-sanctioned World Cup of Softball XII Championship Game.

Despite being outhit by USA, Japan won the title after a 2-1 win.  USA looked to create a seventh-inning rally, but ultimately fell one run short, as both teams finished the annual event with 7-1 records.

Japan struck first in the top of the third inning to take a 2-0 lead.  Eri Yamada led off with a single but USA’s Kelsey Stewart got Yamada out at second on a ground ball from Mana Atsumi.  A single to Michelle Moultrie in right field advanced Atsumi to third to put runners on the corners before a walk to Yu Yamamoto loaded the bases.  With just one out, Minami Sato singled to center-field to push across two Japan runs.

The U.S. struck back in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to just one run.  A leadoff walk to Valerie Arioto followed by a single to right-field by Moultrie put two on quickly.  A ground-out put runners on the corners for USA to bring Munro to the plate, who drove a ball up the middle to bring Arioto home and make it a 2-1 ballgame.  Janie Takeda followed with another single to prompt a pitching change for Japan as Yukiko Ueno entered for Yamato Fugita.  Ueno was able to retire the next two batters to prevent the U.S. from doing any further damage.

Both sides would be kept silent through the next few innings of play to bring USA back to the plate for their final at-bat trailing by one.  Ueno was able to get two quick outs, but the U.S. proved to be resilient as Stewart doubled on a hard hit ball to the left-center gap.  With a runner in scoring position, USA looked to keep the game going, but a strike-out ended the game with Japan winning 2-1.

In the third place game, Canada defeated Australia 3-0 in a tight match.

Final Standings

  1. Japan
  2. USA
  3. Canada
  4. Australia
  6. Puerto Rico
  7. Philippines
  8. Mexico