ISF VI JUNIOR WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

LOCATION: Taipei, Taiwan
DATES: June 17-26, 1999
PARTICIPATING COUNTRIES (15): Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, USA, Venezuela

FINAL STANDINGS

Rank
Team
Round Robin
Playoffs
Total
1
Japan
6-0
3-0
9-0
2
USA
7-0
2-2
9-2
3
Chinese Taipei
5-2
2-2
7-4
4
China
4-2
1-2
5-4
5
Venezuela
5-2
1-1
6-3
6
Australia
4-2
1-1
5-3
7
Canada
5-2
0-1
5-3
8
Russia
3-3
0-1
3-4
9
New Zealand
3-4
3-4
10
Brazil
3-3
3-3
11
Italy
2-5
2-5
12
Netherlands
1-5
1-5
13
Czech Republic
1-6
1-6
14
Korea
0-6
0-6
15
Argentina
0-7
 
0-7

 

FINAL ROUND ROBIN STANDINGS

Group A     Group B  
USA 7-0   Japan 6-0
Chinese Taipei 5-2   China 4-2
Venezuela 5-2   Australia 4-2
Canada 5-2   Russia 3-3
New Zealand 3-4   Brazil 3-3
Italy 2-5   Netherlands 1-5
Czech Republic 1-6   Korea 0-6
Argentina 0-7      

 

PLAYOFFS SEMI-FINALS
Venezuela 7, Russia 3 (Russia eliminated)
USA 6, China 0
Australia 1, Canada 0 (Canada eliminated)
Japan 1, Chinese Taipei 0
China 7, Venezuela 1 (Venezuela eliminated)
Chinese Taipei 3, Australia 0 (Australia eliminated)
Japan 1, USA 0 (11 innings)
Chinese Taipei 18, China 1 (5 innings, China eliminated)
 
FINAL GRAND FINAL
USA 5, Chinese Taipei 1 Japan 3, USA 1

GOLD MEDAL: Japan
SILVER MEDAL: United States
BRONZE MEDAL: Chinese Taipei

Japan Captures Jr. Women's World Title

HSIN-CHUANG CITY, TAIPEI COUNTY, TAIWAN - Japan captured the ISF VI Junior Women's World Championship here with a 3-1 victory over the USA in the gold medal game. With the win Japan has now claimed three junior women's world titles (1981, 1991, and 1999) to the USA's two (1987 and 1995). The only other country to have won a junior women's world championship is China, in 1985.
The Round Robin
Fifteen teams participated in this year's edition of the championship, held every four years for junior women ages 19 and under. The teams were split into two groups. Group A consisted of Argentina, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, Italy, New Zealand, USA, and Venezuela. Teams participating in Group B were Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, and Russia. Japan and the USA proved to be the class of the tournament. Both teams finished round robin play undefeated. Japan outscored their opponents 57-0 in six games, while the USA outscored their opponents 83-1 (run was unearned) in seven games. The USA finished as Group A's #1 seed. Behind the USA were Chinese Taipei, Venezuela, and Canada. Japan was the #1 seed from Group B, followed by China, Australia, and Russia.
The Page Playoffs
The round robin competition was plagued by severe weather. Heavy rains settled in every evening for five straight days. However, thanks to the excellent work of Tournament Director Steeve Hsieh, the local organizing committee, and the grounds crew, the round robin games were completed and the Page Playoffs began on schedule.
Preliminary Playoffs
Once the playoffs started, the rains ended. There were no surprises in the preliminary matches. The higher seeds beat the lower seeds, and two 1-0 games confirmed how evenly matched many of the teams were:
Venezuela 7, Russia 3 (Russia eliminated)
USA 6, China 0
Australia 1, Canada 0 (Canada eliminated)
Japan 1, Chinese Taipei 0
Semi-Final Playoffs
The four semi-finals produced one of the best games of the tournament, and one of the most surprising. In the first two semi-final games China defeated Venezuela 7-1, and Chinese Taipei beat Australia 3-0. The defeats eliminated Venezuela and Australia from the tournament. China and Chinese Taipei would meet to see who would advance to the finals. Before that game, however, fans and media were treated to a classic contest between Japan and the USA. While the Chinese Taipei vs. China contest drew the most vocal and enthusiastic crowd of the tournament, it was the Japan vs. USA game that was the most highly anticipated. No one came away disappointed, as Japan outdueled the USA 1-0 in 11 innings. Mariko Masubuchi and Yukiko Ueno pitched brilliantly for Japan. They struck out 21 of the 38 batters they faced, and allowed only three hits to a USA offense that came into the game with a team batting average over .400. The long wait for the Japan-USA game to finish did not seem to bother Chinese Taipei. With a cheering crowd behind them, they devastated China 18-1 in five innings. The loss eliminated China from the playoffs with a 5-4 record, and advanced Chinese Taipei into the finals against the USA. The winner would move on to face Japan in the grand final.
Finals
Kirsten Voak made sure the USA would get a second chance at Japan, pitching the USA to a 5-1 win over Chinese Taipei. Chinese Taipei won the bronze medal and finished the competition with a 7-4 record.
Grand Final
For the second day in a row, and this time with the Junior Women's World championship on the line, Japan beat the USA. Japan jumped out to a 2-0 lead and never looked back in their 3-1 victory. When Yukiko Ueno struck out Kara Brun to end the game, Japan laid claim to their third Junior Women's World title out of the six that have been competed. Japan went undefeated in the tournament at 9-0, while the USA finished at 8-2.

Championship Notes

  • The 1-0 loss to Japan snapped the USA's 23-game winning streak in Jr. Women's World Championship play dating back to 1995 when the USA went 13-0 to win the gold medal.
  • Tournament firsts:

     

    The bronze medal is the first medal Chinese Taipei has won in Jr. Women's World Championship competition.
      This was the first time Russia has made the playoffs (in only their second Jr. Women's World Championship appearance - first competed in 1995).
      This was the first time Venezuela has made it to the playoffs (in only their second Jr. Women's World Championship appearance - first competed in 1981).
      This was the first time Brazil has played in a Jr. Women's World Championship.
  • China, Japan, and the USA have dominated the medal categories in each of their six Junior Women's World Championships. Australia (bronze in 1995) and Chinese Taipei (1999) are the only countries that have won medals besides the big three.


(The notes in the box above as well as the preceding article appeared in the July-Aug. 1999 edition of World Softball magazine, Volume 29, Number 4.)

 

 

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