WNT: U.S. earns silver; falls 3-0 to Japan
U.S. has medaled in all five World Cups
EDMONTON, Alberta -- The USA Baseball Women's National Team dropped a 3-0 decision to Japan in the championship game of the IBAF World Cup. Despite the loss, the U.S. returns home with a silver medal.
Tamara Holmes earned the award for the best batting average, hitting .679 (19-for-28) in the tournament. Additionally, she was named to the All-World Cup team.
The gold medal game featured a pitcher's duel. Each team battled through a difficult inning, but it was Japan who came through with the two-out hit in the third inning to take a lead it would never relinquish.
Jennifer Hunter (1-1) took the loss after allowing three runs on five hits in 2 2/3 innings. She walked one and struck out two. The only runner allowed by Donna Williams in relief reached on an error. She struck out one in 3 1/3 innings of work.
Team USA had the early chance to jump on the board in the second inning. Bessie Noll led off the inning with a base hit and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt off the bat of Alexa Maldonado. Mackenzie Vandergeest and Natalie Land were each hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs. Japan starter Yukari Isozaki got out of the jam with a strikeout to end the inning.
Japan capitalized on a third inning miscue to push across the only three runs of the game. With two outs, Hunter fanned Ayako Rokkaku but the ball got away and Rokkaku beat the throw to first to keep the inning alive.
Back-to-back base hits loaded the bases for Yuki Kawabata, who was plunked on the foot to drive in the first run of the game. Yukiko Kon followed with a two-run double to make it a 3-0 contest.
The U.S. tried to rally as it got runners on in three of the next four innings, but couldn't find the big hit.
The Women's National Team finished World Cup play with a 6-3 record. It kept its streak of medaling alive, finishing on the podium in all five IBAF Women's World Cups.