USA tops Chinese Taipei 1-0 in final of WBSC U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup in Lima, Peru

USA tops Chinese Taipei 1-0 in final of WBSC U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup in Lima, Peru
13/12/2021
A walkoff RBI double off the bat of Valerie Cagle in the bottom of the seventh inning gave USA their fourth junior women’s softball world title in a row.

Valerie Cagle had a monster afternoon at Villa Maria del Triunfo complex in Lima, Peru, to lift USA past Chinese Taipei, 1-0, in the WBSC U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup Final. The right-hander pitched a seven-inning shutout and hit the World-Cup-winning RBI double in the bottom of the seventh, giving USA their fourth junior women’s softball world title in a row.

Cagle engaged in a dramatic pitching duel with Chinese Taipei’s starter Hsia-Ai Ke, who kept the powerful US line-up scoreless for 6.1 innings. However, in the bottom of the seventh, Olivia Johnson singled to the right field, Violet Zavodnik followed her with a walk, and then Cagle smashed an opposite field double to plate the game-winning run.

Hsia-Ai Ke struck out five, and gave up six hits, a walk and a run, to take the loss, her first and only loss of the tournament.

The US starter finished the game with 13 strikeouts and no walks, giving up four hits. Chinese Taipei threatened in the sixth inning, putting runners in the corners with two outs after a pair singles by Yung-Chi Chang and Yi-Hsuan Chiu. However, the inning ended on a failed squeeze play, keeping the Asian squad scoreless.

This is the fourth consecutive junior women’s softball world title for USA, after winning in 2015, 2017 and 2019, all of them on home soil. However, this is their first title abroad in ten years. Their last World Championship outside USA was in South Africa, in 2011.

Chinese Taipei won their third medal in history, after winning a pair of bronzes in 1999 and 2011.