Champions crowned at 2017 USA Softball Junior Olympic Cup

Aug. 01, 2017, 4:13 p.m. (ET)

PERRIS, Calif. –  USA Softball crowned a pair of champions at the 2017 Junior Olympic (JO) Cup following two close championship games Saturday, July 29. The Louisville Lady Sluggers captured the 18-under title defeating the Williamsburg Starz, 3-0, while Michigan Finesse took home the 16-under title in walk-off fashion, 3-2, against the Gametime Stars.

Saturday’s championship games served as the conclusion to the week-long invitational featuring 61 of the top 16 and 18-under teams from across the country. Beginning on Monday, teams participated in two days of pool play before kicking off play in a double elimination bracket, culminating in the championship games.

18-Under: Louisville Lady Sluggers 3, Williamsburg Starz 0

In a pitcher’s duel, the Louisville Lady Sluggers were helped by the outstanding performance of Taylor Roby who pitched seven shutout innings and issued six strikeouts.

The Williamsburg Starz kept it close in a tight game with a strong pitching performance of their own from Jordan Dail. Dail struck out 10 in six innings pitched, allowing three runs on six hits and one walk.

The Lady Sluggers scored the first run of the game after a pair of singles in the second inning. Both sides were held scoreless through the next four innings until the Sluggers secured their win with a two-run homerun by Mallory Peyton in the bottom of the sixth. Peyton was the only batter from either team with a multi-hit game going 2-of-3 with two RBI and two runs scored.

16-Under: Michigan Finesse 3, Gametime Stars 2

Back-to-back singles to open the seventh inning set up a walk-off homerun that allowed Michigan Finesse to capture the 16-under title. Kathryn Rex capitalized on two baserunners by hitting her only homerun of the tournament.

Despite a combined 12 hits, the championship game had remained scoreless through the fifth inning. Gametime Stars broke open the game with a double to center field by Malee Bainos, scoring Zadie Lavalley and Chelsea Spain who had reached base on back-to-back singles. 

Finesse opened the seventh inning with back-to-back singles by Carley Barjaktarovich and Aleah Marra before Rex came to the plate and hit a three-run shot to claim the win.

As the USA Softball National Teams look towards the return to the 2020 Olympics, the third annual JO Cup served as a National Team identification opportunity, allowing athletes to compete in front of members of the Women’s National Team Selection Committee (WNTSC). The top 12 finishers in each division received a cash donation award back to their participating 501c3 program.

About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 70 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million.  USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch.  USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships.  The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game.

As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.