LIMA, Peru –– Following a gold medal finish at the 2021 Junior Pan American Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, the USA Softball U-18 Women’s National Team (WNT) has arrived in Lima, Peru for the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup. Held Dec. 6-12 at Villa Maria del Triunfo Softball Stadium, the Red, White and Blue will look to claim a fourth-consecutive WBSC Junior Women’s World Championship title, having won the previous three World Championships in 2015, 2017 and 2019.
“The U-18 World Cup is an opportunity for these athletes to play in the biggest international event at their age group and I look forward to how the week plays out in such a special tournament,” said U-18 Women’s National Team Head Coach, Kyla Holas. “The hotel, stadium and support staff have been fantastic, and we are soaking in everything we can during this last week together.”
Team USA enters the tournament as the world-ranked No. 2 team and is joined by No. 4 Mexico, No. 5 Puerto Rico, No. 6 Chinese Taipei, No. 10 Netherlands, No. 13 Czech Republic, No. 30 Peru (host country) and No. 40 Colombia.
Due to international travel restrictions disabling South Africa to attend the World Cup, the WBSC has released an updated schedule with the eight participating countries competing in a six-day Opening Round followed by the World Championship Final. The top two teams in the standings after the 28-game round-robin will advance to the World Championship gold medal game on Sunday, Dec. 12 at 4 p.m. ET while the third and fourth place teams will go head-to-head for the bronze medal on Sunday, Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. ET.
Led by Head Coach Kyla Holas and Assistant Coaches Suzy Brazney (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Lisa Navas (Tarpon Springs, Fla.), the U.S. will kick off Opening Round against No. 13 Czech Republic held on Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. ET followed by a doubleheader against No. 40 Colombia and No. 4 Mexico on Dec. 7 starting at 12 p.m. ET. The Red, White and Blue will then take on No. 5 Puerto Rico at 1:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 8 before additional contests against No. 10 Netherlands (Dec. 9 at 1:30 ET), No. 30 Peru (Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. ET) and No. 6 Chinese Taipei (Dec. 11 at 1:30 p.m. ET). Live stats will be available through USASoftball.com while the WBSC has provided live streaming, which can be accessed by clicking here.
Due to the postponement of the WBSC U-18 World Cup, which was originally scheduled to take place in August 2020, the WBSC extended the age eligibility to allow athletes who were eligible for the 2020 event with the opportunity to participate in the rescheduled event this year. With the extended age eligibility, the 2021 USA Softball U-18 Women’s National Team roster includes one member of the 2019 U-17 JWNT World Championship Gold Medal team, six current NCAA Division I student-athletes and 12 committed and/or signed NCAA Division I student athletes – four of which also advanced to the JWNT Selection Trials through the USA Softball High Performance Program (HPP). Click here to view the 2021 USA Softball U-18 Women's National Team roster.
The U.S. enters the U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup following a dominating performance at the 2021 Junior Pan America Games where they shut out all six of their opponents for an undefeated 6-0 record to earn the 2021 Junior Pan American gold medal. The U.S. offense totaled an impressive 71 runs with a team batting average of .460 while combining for 63 hits and 13 home runs. Violet Zavodnik (Murrieta, Calif.) led the offense, hitting an impressive .643 (9-for-14) with three home runs, five walks and a .737 on base percentage. Erin Coffel (Bremen, Ind.) racked up nine hits of her own while slugging two home runs and tallying seven RBI. The U.S. pitching staff put on an outstanding performance in the circle, allowing only five hits in the tournament while combining for a remarkable 0.00 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 30 innings pitched.