USA wins The World Games gold medal, three-peats as women’s softball world champion

USA wins The World Games gold medal, three-peats as women’s softball world champion
14/07/2022
A three-run double off the bat of Janae Jefferson in the second inning was the difference in another final to be remembered between the top two teams in the world.

Janae Jefferson`s bases-clearing double in the bottom of the second inning was the game-winning play for the US Women's National Softball Team in the final of The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama. USA defeated Japan, 3-2, and won not only the gold medal, but also retained the women’s softball world title. The game was played at Hoover Met Stadium in front of 8,200 softball fans.

USA loaded the bases in the bottom of the second after a pair on singles and a walk. With two outs and a 3-1 count, Jefferson lined a bases-clearing double to left-center field to give USA a three-run lead.

"It's been really fun to see her (Jefferson) playing, just do her thing", Ally Carda, the reliever in tonight's game, said during the post-game press conference. "She was just playing the game, she was so free, doing what she needs to do for the team. So it was awesome and big in that moment, just what we needed to get the momentum in our hands."

Japan scored their first run immediately after. With runner on second and two outs, first baseman Minori Naito singled through the middle of the field to bring home Hitomi Kawabata. After that, Japan loaded the bases for the second time in the game, but couldn’t capitalise since Monica Abbott forced a groundout back to her to escape the threat.

Japan left 10 runners on base in their first four at bats. Japan outhit USA 8-5.

In the top of the fifth, Japan added one run on an RBI single by Yui Sakamoto, and head coach Heather Tarr pulled Abbott and sent Carda in relief. Carda struck out 7 in three innings of work, while allowing 1 hit and 1 walk.

Carda caught a high pop-up to end the game and the tournament. “I called it right away, I looked up but it was a little higher than I though, the lights were all blinding... So I was thinking ‘Hang with it, hang with it’. And then once I caught it... I don’t think I’ve been for a long time that fired up and excited for a win.”

For Japan, Yamato Fujita pitched two innings giving up 4 hits and 3 runs. Sakura Miwa allowed 1 hit in two frames, while Miu Goto tossed two perfect innings with 1 strikeout.

It’s USA’s 12th women’s softball world title, and third consecutive. For Japan it’s the sixth second place at world championship level.