ISF VIII WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

LOCATION: St. John's, Newfoundland (Canada)
DATES: July 29-August 7, 1994
PARTICIPATING COUNTRIES (28): Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bermuda, Botswana, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Korea, Moldova, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, USA

UMPIRES

FINAL STANDINGS

Rank

Team

Round Robin

Playoffs

Total

1

USA

6-0

4-0

10-0

2

China

5-1

3-2

8-3

3

Australia

6-0

2-3

8-3

4

Canada

5-1

2-2

7-3

5

Chinese Taipei

5-1

2-1

7-2

6

New Zealand

6-0

0-3

6-3

7

Japan

5-1

0-1

5-2

8

Netherlands

5-1

0-4

5-5

9

Puerto Rico

5-1

5-1

10

Cuba

4-2

4-2

11

Italy

4-2

4-2

12

Netherlands Antilles

4-2

4-2

13

Belgium

3-3

3-3

14

Bahamas

3-3

3-3

15

Korea

3-3

3-3

16

Sweden

3-3

3-3

17

Colombia

2-4

2-4

18

Botswana

2-4

2-4

19

Czech Republic

2-4

2-4

20

Spain

2-4

2-4

21

France

1-5

1-5

22

Argentina

1-5

1-5

23

Great Britain

1-5

1-5

24

Bermuda

1-5

1-5

25

Moldova

0-6

0-6

26

Ukraine

0-6

0-6

27

Austria

0-6

0-6

28

Croatia

0-6

0-6



GOLD MEDAL: United States
SILVER MEDAL: China
BRONZE MEDAL: Australia

 

FINAL ROUND ROBIN STANDINGS
Group A
W
L
RF
RA
USA
6
0
59
3
Ch. Taipei
5
1
45
6
Cuba
4
2
54
12
Korea
3
3
24
48
Spain
2
4
20
54
Great Britain
1
5
26
63
Moldova
0
6
0
42
Group B
W
L
RF
RA
New Zealand
6
0
67
0
Netherlands
5
1
67
11
Italy
4
2
50
23
Belgium
3
3
31
34
Colombia
2
4
38
25
Argentina
1
5
28
47
Croatia
0
6
3
144

Group C
W
L
RF
RA
China
5
1
75
1
Canada
5
1
66
3
Puerto Rico
5
1
63
14
Sweden
3
3
24
57
Cz. Republic
2
4
44
49
Bermuda
1
5
26
83
Austria
0
6
19
110

Group D
W
L
RF
RA
Australia
6
0
68
4
Japan
5
1
60
3
Neth. Antilles
4
2
28
26
Bahamas
3
3
26
32
Botswana
2
4
11
47
France
1
5
18
43
Ukraine
0
6
1
57

PLAYOFFS
August 6
USA 1, Australia 0 (10 innings)
Chinese Taipei 4, Japan 0
Canada 9, Netherlands 0
China 1, New Zealand 0
Australia 1, Chinese Taipei 0
Canada 1, New Zealand 0 (12 innings)
USA 2, Australia 0
China 5, Canada 0
USA 2, China 1 (12 innings)
Australia 1, Canada 0

August 7
China 1, Australia 0
Chinese Taipei 1, New Zealand 0
USA 6, China 0 (gold medal game)

THREE-PEAT FOR USA
Defeat China in Gold Medal Game, 6-0

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND (CANADA) - Billed as the pre-favorite, USA Softball lived up to its advance notice and captured a third consecutive ISF World Championship in the VIII ISF Women's World Fast Pitch Championship here July 29-August 7 at the Caribou Memorial Complex. The USA went through the round-robin undefeated, 6-0, then won four more games in the eight-team Page Playoffs to emerge with its fifth ISF World Championship since 1965 and third in a row (1986, 1990 and 1994). In the Grand Final before a crowd of more than 7,500 people, the USA blanked China, 6-0, collecting ten hits off three China pitchers.

China gave the USA one of its best games, losing 2-1 in 12 innings in game 10 of the playoffs. But the USA, which has now won 33 games in a row in ISF World Championship play, tied the score in the bottom of the sixth and got the winning run in the 12th on a throwing error by the China third baseman. Sheila Cornell, whose RBI single in the sixth scored Pat Dufficy from third to tie the game, started the inning at second base after the ISF tiebreaker was used, with the last batter of the previous inning placed at second base.

Cornell went to third on a ground out by Lisa Fernandez and scored on the error by China third baseman Hua Tao, who threw wide to the plate after fielding Laura Berg's grounder.

In the Grand Final, China put pressure on the USA early, getting runners on first and second with no outs in the top of the first inning.

The USA responded, however, and in particular centerfielder Berg, who fired a strike to USA catcher Karen Sanchelli to tag out China's Fang Yan who was trying to score from second on a single by shortstop Xuqing Liu. Harrigan then fanned clean-up hitter Ying Fang for the third out.

That was China's best threat of the game against Harrigan, who had "butterflies" and settled down to pitch a six-hitter. After that, China (8-2) didn't get a runner past second base and Harrigan (2-0) allowed only four hits, one a double by Hua Tao in the second inning.

After stranding four baserunners through the first four innings, the USA finally dented the scoring column, with a pair of runs in the fifth inning and four insurance runs in the sixth inning.

Julie Smith, USA's steady second baseman, brought home the two runs in the fifth inning with a two-run homer with none out. USA shortstop Dot Richardson was aboard when Smith smashed her shot to dead centerfield, having singled to open the inning. It was Smith's second homer of the championship and her third game-winning hit of the playoffs.

A former college star with Fresno State University, Smith made her eleven hits in 28 at-bats count, driving in ten runs to lead the USA team, which outscored the opposition, 70-4. Her two earlier game-winning hits were both against Australia - a single up the middle in the top of the tenth inning to drive in the run in a 1-0 win in the first game of the Page Playoffs and a two-run single in a 2-0 win in the USA's second playoff game.

Australia won the bronze medal in the 28-team field and was one of five teams to qualify for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. The others were the USA, China, Chinese Taipei, and host Canada, which finished fourth.

The three other teams scheduled to compete in the Olympics will be determined in qualifiers next year. New Zealand will probably host one of those qualifiers after going 6-0 in the round-robin, before having its offense freeze up in the playoffs, losing all its playoff games by 1-0 scores to China, Canada and Chinese Taipei. Veteran New Zealand pitcher Gina Weber suffered all 1-0 losses, allowing only five hits in 26 innings including a no-hitter against Canada.

That game took twelve innings and after that Canada didn't have much left, losing to China 5-0 and to Australia, 1-0, to finish 7-2 and in fourth place. Japan, which placed second behind the USA in the South Pacific Classic in April in Sydney, Australia, was surprised by an improved Chinese Taipei team in the second game of the playoffs, losing 4-0 and the first team eliminated. Japan went 5-1 in the playoffs and figured to be one of the teams possibly having a shot at beating the USA for the gold medal. The Netherlands lost in the next game to Canada, 9-0, to finish 5-1 and be eliminated.

The World Championship was the fifth for the USA and their Head Coach Ralph Raymond, who has yet to lose in World Championship play (61-0). His other championships were in 1974, 1978, 1986 and 1990. Raymond will also coach the USA team in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

"Every player on our team has a deep commitment to being the best and they do the things they need to win. During the early going in the playoffs, we were not executing well offensively, making small errors that were costing us opportunities and runs," said Raymond. "Today (August 7) we put it together and played up to our ability."

How well the USA played was reflected in the cumulative stats, with a team batting average of .317 and a pitching staff (Michele Granger, Susie Parra, Harrigan, Michele Smith and Lisa Fernandez) that allowed only two earned runs in 65 innings while striking out 100 batters. The five allowed only 18 hits and finished with a team ERA of 0.22. On defense, the USA made only three errors for a .988 fielding percentage.


(This article appeared in the September 1994 edition of World Softball magazine, Volume 24, Number 5.)

 

 

 

 

 

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