Japan bests Women's National Team and U19 WNT on Day 5 of the International Cup

July 05, 2019, 11:43 p.m. (ET)

With tough international competition showcasing some of the best teams in the world, Japan came out on top against both the USA Softball Women’s and U-19 Women’s National Teams (WNT) on the fifth day of action at the USA Softball International Cup.

Preparing for the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-19 Women’s Softball World Cup in August, the U-19 WNT dropped a 10-0 (four inning) decision before the WNT took a 3-2 loss in their evening matchup with Japan.

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U-19 WNT 0, Japan 10 (four innings)

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In their second meeting against one of the top three countries in the world, the U-19 WNT dropped a 10-0 (four innings) decision to world-ranked No. 2 Japan. The U-19 offense nearly went hit-for-hit with a strong Japan offense but couldn’t string together hits in the loss.

Team USA’s Jasmine Sievers (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) singled with two outs in the top of the first, but a strikeout ended the at-bat with Sievers stranded at first. Japan struck first in the bottom half of the frame with a two-run home run, putting the Red, White and Blue down by two.

With two outs, another base-runner reached in the top of the second inning when Julia Cottrill (Stillwater, Okla.) drove a ball up the middle for a single, but a strikeout stopped the rally before it could begin.

Kelley Lynch (Newnan, Ga.) recorded her first three-up, three-down inning in the bottom of the second inning with a strikeout, popup and fly out to centerfield, bringing the momentum back to the U.S. Kelli Godin (Seal Beach, Calif.) kept that energy going with a leadoff single, but a double play and ground out prevented the offense from scoring.

Six walks and a pair of hits helped fuel an eight-run bottom of the third for Japan, leaving the Red, White and Blue trailing by 10 after three complete innings. Needing a run to keep the game going, a two-out walk and single spurred a rally for the U.S., but a strikeout ended the game with the U-19 squad dropping their third game of the tournament.

Lynch suffered the loss, striking out five while allowing five walks and four hits in two and two-third innings in the circle. Callie Turner (Land O’Lakes, Fla.) entered in relief for Lynch in the middle of the third, allowing one earned run with one hit and one walk.

At the plate, Jadelyn Allchin (Fountain Valley, Calif.), Godin, Cottrill and Sievers each picked up hits.

The U-19 WNT have one final game remaining in pool play against Puerto Rico tomorrow, July 6 at 6:30 p.m. ET.

USA WNT 2, Japan 3

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For the fourth-time this 2019 season, it was a No. 1 vs No. 2 showdown as Team USA went toe-to-toe with Japan for a battle of the unbeatens at the USA Softball International Cup. Overcoming a two-run deficit in the bottom of the third courtesy of a two-run Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) home run, Japan plated a run in the top of the sixth to earn the eventual 3-2 win. It marked the first loss of the USA Softball International Cup for the WNT, who were unable to find the timely hitting with runners in scoring position.

A leadoff double and sac bunt put a runner in scoring position for Japan but a strikeout from Keilani Ricketts (San Jose, Calif.) looked to end the threat until a single to left plated the first run of the game.

A three-up, three-down at-bat for Team USA in the bottom of the first kept the one run lead for Japan, but the U.S. threatened in the bottom of the second inning. A walk to Arioto, her tournament-leading ninth, put the leadoff batter on base. Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) was hit by a pitch to move Arioto to second and a single from Sahvanna Jaquish (Highland, Calif.) loaded the bases, but back-to-back fly outs ended the threat.

Japan tacked on another run to their lead in the bottom of the second, putting Team USA down by two. That deficit didn’t last long, however, as Arioto came up big for the U.S. with her two-run blast to tie the game.

An opportunity to take the lead came in the bottom of the fifth for the WNT after Janie Reed (Placentia, Calif.) singled and walks to Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.) and Delaney Spaulding (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) loaded the bases for the second time in the game, but a fly ball was caught to strand the runners.

Japan took the lead for good in the top of the sixth inning after a walk and two singles drove in a run. That lead would hold through the remainder of the game with the U.S. suffering the 3-2 loss.

The WNT will return to action tomorrow for a doubleheader. First up, a 12 p.m. ET matchup against Mexico on ESPN2 followed by a 4 p.m. ET game against Puerto Rico on ESPN2.

USA WNT 2, USSSA Pride 1 – Exhibition

Box Score

As Chief Executive Officers for both USA Softball and the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) kicked off the game by delivering ceremonial first pitches, the USA Softball WNT squared off against the USSSA Pride for a special exhibition contest for fans attending the USA Softball International Cup.

Able to play four complete innings before inclement weather caused an early finish to the contest, Team USA put up two runs to the Pride’s one.

The USSSA Pride will return for two more exhibition contests this weekend. First up, an exhibition matchup against Japan tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET and against the U-19 WNT on Sunday, July 7 at 4 p.m. ET.  

Tickets are still available for the USA Softball International Cup, and can be purchased outside of South Commons Softball Complex at the ticket booth.  For complete coverage of the USA Softball International Cup, including rosters, live stats, streaming and results, visit USASoftballInternationalCup.com.