The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

July 15, 2013

Team USA falls short falls to Japan in World Cup of Softball gold medal game

OKLAHOMA CITY — The United States showed on Sunday that it had some of the best players in the world on the squad when it squared off with Japan in the championship of the World Cup of Softball.

And Japan showed it had the best team in the world.

The Japanese cruised to a 6-3 victory over the United States, taking a commanding lead early and never allowing the Americans to seriously threaten. It was the second time in as many days that they took control early against the United States on their way to a resounding victory. It was the first time since 2005, when Japan won in the first World Cup, that the United States had not won the event.

“We brought a pretty young team that had not a lot expected of them, so they were not very tight,” Japan coach Reika Utsugi said through a translator. “There was no pressure for us. I absolutely think we’ll be meeting each other again at the world championships next year.”

In Sunday’s game, the Japanese got on the board immediately when Yukiyo Mine hit a hard grounder to second base that Lauren Gibson grabbed on a diving stop but wasn’t able to make the throw in time. That hit scored Misato Kawano and put Japan on the board first.

It was just the beginning. After the United States put two runners in scoring position in the bottom of half of the inning before back-to-back strikeouts ended the threat, Japan took advantage, with some help from a questionable call.

The Japanese loaded the bases with two outs for Yuka Ichiguchi, who hit a short fly ball to left field. Rhea Taylor sprinted in for the ball and slid on her knees as she tried to make the catch. It appeared initially that she caught it, but the ball bounced off of her glove and toward third base, allowing two runners to score. As the ball rolled, third baseman Raven Chavanne picked it up and appeared to easily tag out the runner, but she was ruled safe at third and extended the inning.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Zac Selmon joins UNC as associate AD

    Zac Selmon, an associate director of athletic development with the Sooner Club since 2012, has been hired by North Carolina as an associate athletic director and special assistant to Tar Heel athletics director Bubba Cunningham....

    July 28, 2014

  • OSSAA releases enrollment figures

    The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association released the preliminary 2014-15 ADM for classification purposes Friday and not much has changed for many of the area schools. Moore (2,265), Norman North (2,180), Westmoore (2,090), ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Swim regionals 1 Norman North’s Justin Wu qualifies for U.S. national

    Justin Wu made history last week when he qualified for the U.S. national swim meet. A senior at Norman North, Wu already owned several state records when he outpaced a field of college swimmers in the event....

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woodard joins successful soccer team in Stillwater

    Haley Woodard has been one of the preeminent multi-sport stars in the state for several years. The Norman North senior is a state champion in track and soccer and has been an integral part of a basketball team that’s been to back-to-back ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Posturing, predictions fly as conference plans for new season

    There’s plenty to enjoy about the Southeastern Conference’s annual cattle call in Hoover, Ala., where media of every description join players and coaches from each of the league’s 14 football teams to discuss the coming season. The best ...

    July 18, 2014

  • Roberson2 66ers heading south

    The last five years, the Oklahoma City Thunder have had an unsung hero in their rise to the top of the NBA. Along with the talents of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the franchise has had the services of one of the best developmental ...

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NHS at Midwest City 6 Point guard taking on a new role in Tigers’ summer basketball league

    It’s a summer of change for Norman High basketball....

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU dominates in preseason, receiving 47 of 56 first-place votes in early poll

    Oklahoma will start the season as the overwhelming favorite to win the Big 12 Conference....

    July 18, 2014

  • Thunder V Denver Thunder add guard Morrow in deliberate, selective free agency

    Oklahoma City hasn’t been the busiest place during the NBA free agency period. However, it may have been among the pickiest. The Thunder officially signed free agent guard Anthony Morrow to a contract Wednesday. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound ...

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo