USA wins Junior World Championship in South Africa

Tue 20 Dec 2011

The United States won the 7th ISF Junior Women's World Championship in Cape Town, South Africa on Saturday, December 17 with a 4-1 win over Japan in the Gold Medal game.

It was the fourth title for the US in the seven tournaments played, while Japan holds the other three. The US and Japan have been finalists in every Junior World Championship except the inaugural competition in 1987, when America defeated China to win the first Gold Medal in the competition.

US recovery

Japan had inflicted a 9-0 mercy rule defeat on the United States during the double Page Playoff, the only loss the Americans suffered in the tournament. But in the final, Lauren Haeger from Arizona held Japan to just five hits and a single unearned run and all the scoring for the US came in the bottom of the fourth inning on a grand slam home run by Designated Player Cheyenne Tarango from California.

“In my head, I was just thinking about a base hit,” said Tarango. “I thought that if I could just get the first RBI, Lauren Haeger would be able to take care of the rest.”

Other placings

The Bronze Medal in Cape Town went to Chinese Taipei, who defeated China, Canada and Australia during the Page Playoff, but went down 12-3 to the US in the game that determined which team would meet Japan in the final. The Japanese were undefeated until the Gold Medal game.

Fourth position went to Australia, while the other playoff teams were Canada, New Zealand, China and Brazil.

Europe's three representatives -- Russia, Germany and the Czech Republic -- failed to make the playoff stages, though the Czech Republic finished fifth in Pool A with a 3-4 record, just one place from a playoff berth. In Pool B, Russia was sixth with a 2-5 record and Germany seventh at 1-6.

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