The U-19 Women’s National Team (WNT) defeated both No. 8 China and No. 7 Australia at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-19 Women’s Softball World Cup on Friday and will play Japan on Saturday for the Gold Medal.
Team USA is 9-0 in World Cup competition with nine straight shutout victories heading into the title match.
USA 6, China 0
In the first game of the day, Team USA defeated China 6-0 with a combined shutout from starter Montana Fouts (Grayson, Ky.) and Lexi Kilfoyl (Land O’Lakes, Fla.). Fouts went four innings with eight strikeouts and gave up only two hits. Kilfoyl had four strikeouts through three innings of work and gave up no hits.
Skylar Wallace (Woodstock, Ga.) lead off in the first with a fly ball and reached on an error by the shortstop. Wallace took second after getting an obstruction call rounding first base. Charla Echols (Newnan, Ga.) singled on a line drive to right field to score Wallace.
This was the eighth straight game either Wallace or Echols have scored the first run for the U.S. Echols leads the tournament with 14 RBIs in 22 at bats.
“We value the opportunity to score first,” U-19 WNT Head Coach, Heather Tarr (Redmond, Wash./Head Coach at Washington) said. “It gives us the best opportunity to win. I know Skylar really prides herself on competing hard for this team in that leadoff position and Charla is such a great hitter that it gives us a chance to score immediately.”
Persistent scoring was the name of the game against China as Bailey Dowling (St. Joseph, Ill.) would make it a 2-0 lead in the first with a single up the middle to score Echols.
Jadelyn Allchin (Fountain Valley, Calif.) hit her first long ball of the day with a solo shot to right field making it a 3-0 ballgame for Team USA in the second. The U.S. would strike again in the third on a single from Jayda Coleman (The Colony, Tx.) to score Jasmine Sievers (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) and Wallace would hit an inside the park home run in the fourth to bring home Kelley Lynch (Newnan, Ga.) who reached on a single that barely missed clearing the left field fence, giving the U.S. the 6-0 victory over China.
USA 9, Australia 0
Against Australia, Coleman singled on a ground ball to center to drive in Wallace for the first run of the game. Frankie Hammoude (Oakland, Calif.) would bring home the second run of the game with a hard ground ball to the shortstop to give Sievers, who reached on a walk, enough time to sneak home.
Allchin would give the Eagles an early 5-0 lead in the bottom of the first with a monster three-run shot to center field for her team leading third home run of the World Cup.
“It was one of the ones where you felt it and you just knew it was going over,” Allchin said. “Going up I knew I had runners on second and third and knew I needed to score them with two outs, so I was just thinking, ‘She’s going to pitch the ball and I’m going to get the hit no matter what.’”
In the second inning, Team USA would put up three more runs, this time on a single from Echols to drive in Wallace and a single from Sievers to drive in Echols.
Sievers would advance home on a passed ball to score making it an 8-0 lead for the Eagles. Sievers has been a consistent threat in Team USA’s offense having scored 11 of the team’s 79 runs at the World Cup as well as having six RBIs and seven stolen bases.
“I am just trying to play my game,” Sievers said. “If I think too much I get stressed out. I am just trying to take a step back and just know that I have worked so hard for this moment that everything is going to fall into place if I do what I need to do for my team.”
Taylor Pleasants (Houston, Tx.) would knock in the ninth and final run for the Eagles in the third inning with a triple to left field to score Allchin who reached on a walk.
Team USA’s defense would do the rest of the work against Australia. Rylee Trlicek (Hallettsville, Tx.) and Lynch would combine to throw a no-hitter for the ninth straight shutout and fifth no-hitter of the tournament for the U.S.
The defense behind them was purely perfect through seven innings committing zero errors on 15 putouts. The defense has been locked in through the first nine games of the World Cup committing just one error on 141 putouts over 47 innings of work.
“It feels really awesome to just come together as a team and play with the defense behind me,” Trlicek said. “Really you’re just a lot calmer coming out to the circle knowing that everybody has your back and knowing that you’re all in it together especially with a defense as talented as this one.”
Team USA will face No. 2 Japan on Saturday in the Gold Medal matchup. This will be the 11th meeting between the two programs in the U-19 World Cup final and the 10th straight matchup since 1991.
Previously in the week the two teams squared up in a tight contest in which the U.S. won 1-0.
“It is an honor to be able to play for a gold medal against a team like Japan,” Tarr said. “We have all the respect in the world for their organization and how they play the game and we are just going to relish the opportunity to see how good we can get and just compete and play our best.”
Free live streaming of all games and live stats will be available throughout the WBSC U-19 World Cup and fans at home can follow along with recaps and more at USASoftball.com.
WBSC U-19 Women's Softball World Cup
August 11-17 | Irvine, Calif.
|August 10||U-19 WNT 15, No. 5 Mexico 0||8 p.m. PT||Box Score | Recap|
|August 11||U-19 WNT 15, No. 43 Botswana 0||8 p.m. PT||Box Score | Recap|
|August 12||U-19 WNT 8, No. 15 Czech Republic 0||8 p.m. PT||Box Score | Recap|
|August 13||U-19 WNT 12, No. 3 Canada 0||8 p.m. PT||Box Score | Recap|
|August 14||U-19 WNT 6, No. 4 Puerto Rico 0||8 p.m. PT||Box Score | Recap|
|August 15||U-19 WNT 7, No. 6 Chinese Taipei 0||3 p.m. PT||Box Score | Recap|
|August 15||U-19 WNT 1, No. 2 Japan 0||8 p.m. PT||Box Score | Recap|
|August 16||U-19 WNT 6, No. 8 China 0||3 p.m. PT||Box Score | Recap|
|August 16||U-19 WNT 9, No. 7 Australia 0||8 p.m. PT||Box Score | Recap|
|August 17||No. 2 Japan||2. p.m. PT||Live Stats | Live Streaming|
- Group A: Team USA, Mexico, Czech Republic, Botswana
- Group B: Japan, Australia, Italy, South Africa
- Group C: Puerto Rico, China, Brazil, Ireland
- Group D: Canada, Chinese Taipei, Netherlands, New Zealand