USA defeats Japan to win 15-nation WBSC Junior Softball World Championship

Oklahoma City, OK (USA) –The 11th WBSC Junior Women’s Softball World Championship concluded Sunday at ASA Hall of Fame Complex with the United States defeating Japan, 8-1, in the gold medal finale to cap off an exciting event with various tournament records broken.

The 15-nation youth world championship showcased nearly 70 international contests of women’s junior softball action.
Puerto Rico finished third in the world to claim the bronze medal, marking the Caribbean nation’s highest-ever finish at a WBSC Junior World Championship.
The junior women’s global softball showcase in Oklahoma City also marked the first time in history that the Colombian U-19 Women’s Team advanced to the world stage, representing another step forward and an expanded footprint for softball in South America.
Softball titans Japan had entered Oklahoma City as the defending World Champions in both the Women’s and Junior Women’s categories.
USA powered to the gold medal, as three members — Jenna Lilley, Alyssa Palomino and Sydney Romero — each electrified the crowd with home runs in finale Sunday.
In a show of international solidarity and Olympic inspiration following the medal ceremony,A� Japan, Puerto Rico and U.S. joined together near the podium to share their voice and desire to see a return of Olympic baseball/softball at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Baseball/softball is one of eight new sports being considered by Tokyo 2020 following Olympic Agenda 2020’s landmark ruling last December that allows Olympic hosts to propose adding sports (events) that are not currently on the Olympic programme but could help engage audiences and young people in the host nation and around the world.
“Our young athletes and future stars are excited and hoping that there is a return of baseball and softball at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020,” said WBSC Secretary General Ms. Beng Choo Low. “WBSC hopes that our sport can serve in any way possible to further connect the Games to a worldwide youth base and reinforce a commitment to opening new pathways for women in sport.”
U-19 World Championship records broken in four categories
USA’s Palomino took down the WBSC Junior Women’s Softball Championship all-time record for runs batted in (RBI) with 27 RBI, surpassing Stacey Nuveman’s (USA) record of 18 RBIs set in 1995. Palomino also tied Nuveman’s 1995 home run record of five home runs.
Puerto Rico’s Elicia D’Orazio’s 11 stolen bases put her into the record books, bypassing Japan’s duo Emi Tsukada (1991) and Masuyama Yuri (2003), who had previously held the record with eight.
Puerto Rico’s Meghan Marie King pitched 60 2/3 innings to break the previous record held by USA’s Michele Granger (1987) who gunned 56 1/3 innings.

The WBSC Junior Women’s Softball World Championship is celebrated every two years, with the next edition to be held in July 2017 in Clearwater, Florida, United States.

Final Standings:
BRONZE: Puerto Rico
4th: Canada
5th: Mexico
6th: New Zealand
7th: Australia
8th: Chinese Taipei
9th: Italy
10th: Brazil
11th: Czech Republic
12th: China
13th: Great Britain
14th: Argentina
15th: Colombia