T’AI-NAN CITY, Taiwan - Oklahoma left fielder Norrelle Dickson and the USA World University squad earned their second straight World Championship title after defeating the Chinese Taipei, 4-3, in extra innings to nab the crown on Sunday. Dickson was also a member of the 2004 USA team that won the inaugural World GamesUniversity Softball Championship.
The Red, White and Blue claimed their second World Championship title after outlasting Japan, 3-2, in eight innings to advance to the title game. That set up a third match-up between the U.S. and Chinese Taipei as the latter had already downed the Red, White & Blue 4-2 and 5-1 during the 2nd World University Softball Championship to secure its place in the title game.
Dickson was one of 30 of the nation’s top collegiate players who were invited to selection camp for the USA squad, June 8-11, in Chula Vista, Calif. Joining Dickson on the final team of 17 were Callista Balko (Tucson, Ariz., Arizona); Tina Boutelle (Katy, Texas, Texas); Courtney Bures (Haymarket, Va., Mississippi State); Katie Burkhart (San Luis Obispo, Ariz., Arizona State); Christina Clark (Santa Ana, Calif., Fresno State); Kaitlin Cochran (Yorba Linda, Calif., Arizona State); Sarah Fekete (Maryville, Tenn., Tennessee); Samantha Findlay (Lockport, Ill., Michigan); Kristie Fox (San Diego, Calif., Arizona); Lauren Lappin (Anaheim, Calif., Stanford); Brianne McGowan (Reno, Nev., Oregon State); Cambria Miranda (Camarillo, Calif., Oregon State); Jackie Rinehart (Reno, Nev., Stanford); Jennie Ritter (Dexter, Mich., Michigan); Lindsay Schutzler (Monterey, Calif., Tennessee) and Angela Tincher (Eagle Rock, Va., Virginia Tech).
The World University Team was coached by Head Coach Carol Hutchins (Head Coach at Michigan), Assistant Coach Mike Larabee (Head Coach at Wright State), Assistant Coach Mark Lumley (Assistant Coach at Baylor) and Assistant Coach Jay Miller (Head Coach at Mississippi State).
While no box scores from the games were available, below are recaps of the final three playoff round games, courtesy of USA Softball, are available at www.usasoftball.com. For more information, visit the official Web site of the 2nd World University Softball Championships at www.2006wusc.org.tw/.
USA 4, Chinese Taipei 3, (8 Innings)
With its only two losses, 4-2, 5-1, of the tournament coming from Chinese Taipei, the USA World University rode the strong arm of Jennie Ritter (Dexter, Mich./Michigan) clutch hitting, and strong defense to defeat host Chinese Taipei 4-3 in eight innings to claim the gold medal at the II World University Games. This was the team’s second extra-inning game of day and just like the game versus Japan, the game winning RBI came off the bat of Ritter’s Michigan counterpart Samantha Findlay (Lockport, Ill./Michigan).
Lauren Lappin (Anaheim, Calif./Stanford) scored on Lindsay Schutzler’s (Monterey, Calif./Tennessee) double in the third for a U.S. 1-0 lead. Chinese Taipei scored twice in the top of the fourth of back to back singles and an errant throw from right field opened the door for both runners.
Jackie Rinehart (Reno, Nev./Stanford) tied the game in the fifth on a RBI single by Schutzler, who was a perfect 3-3 with two RBI during the Championship game.
The seventh saw the perfect scoring opportunity with bases loaded off singles by Lappin, Schutzler and Tina Boutelle (Katy, Texas/Texas). However the USA would strand all three when Lappin was called out at home as she tried to score off Brianne McGowan (Reno, Nev./Oregon State) fly out.
The defense of the red, white and blue came out strong in the eighth when the game entered International Tie Breaker play. Chinese Taipei loaded the bases but would score only one run, stranding three on base.
The USA re-loaded the bases in the eighth, needing one run to avoid a loss. With Sarah Fekete (Maryville, Tenn./Tennessee) on second as the ITB runner, Cambria Miranda (Camarillo, Calif./Oregon State) reached on an error. Christina Clark (Santa Ana, Calif./Fresno State) singled and Kristie Fox (San Diego, Calif./Arizona) reached on a fielder’s choice, with Fekete out at home. This set the stage for Findlay who ripped a 2 RBI double to left field and gave the U.S. a 4-3 Championship win and their second World University Games Title.
USA 3, Japan 2
The USA University team, rebounding from back-to-back losses to Chinese Taipei, climbed back into the Gold Medal game at the 2nd World University Championships, defeating third place Japan in a tense game, 3-2 (8) on a bases-loaded RBI by Samantha Findlay (Lockport, Ill./Michigan).
The USA scored its first run with two hits in the bottom of the third off Japanese ace Fujiwara, with Lindsey Schutzler (Monterey, Calif./Tennessee) scoring off a single by Tina Boutelle (Katy, Texas/Texas).
Japan answered immediately with two runs off Katie Burkhart (San Luis Obispo, Calif./Arizona State) in the top of the fourth. Hirabayahi singled and Takahashi was safe on a sac bunt. The first run for Japan was scored on a passed ball and the second run scored on an RBI single by Oyanagi.
Cambria Miranda (Camarillo, Calif./Oregon State) led the USA in the fourth, scoring off Kristie Fox’s (San Diego, Calif./Arizona) double. After Uemura replaced Fujiwara in the circle for Japan, Sarah Fekete (Maryville, Tenn./Tennessee) and Christina Clark (Santa Ana, Calif./Fresno State) had singles in the fifth and sixth, respectively, but were stranded on base.
Jennie Ritter (Dexter, Mich./Michigan) relieved Burkhart to start the fifth, striking out two of the first three batters and retiring two more in the sixth off strikeouts.
Japan threatened in the seventh when Nishikawa singled with two outs but was nailed stealing second on a throw down from Balko to Clark. The USA got a 2-out infield hit from Boutelle in the seventh but no runs were scored.
The USA defense sealed the Japanese fate in the 8th. The game entered International Tie Breaker and Japan runner Nishikawa was trapped between second and third. She was tagged by Clark at the end of a 2-6-5 relay. Nakano singled but a 6-4-3 double play ended the threat.
With Fekete on second as the ITB runner, Miranda’s sac bunt moved her to Fekete to third. To get a force at home, Fujiwara, re-entered the game and issued intentional walks to Clark and Fox. Findlay, who had gone hitless in the first game against Japan, came through with the game-winning single to left scoring Fekete, leading the team to the Championship game.
Chinese Taipei 4, USA 3
In a match-up of the two remaining unbeaten teams at the 2nd World University Championship in Taiwan, the host, Chinese Taipei, defeated the USA World University team 4-2 on Thursday. Under the Page playoff system used at International Softball Federation (ISF) sanctioned tournaments, the teams will meet again on Friday at 1pm. The winner advances to Saturday’s gold medal game (1300 Taiwan time).
The USA scored in the top of the first when Lindsay Schutzler (Monterey, Calif./Tennessee) led off with a walk and advanced to third off a fielders choice by Christina Clark (Santa Ana, Calif./Fresno State). Jackie Rinehart (Reno, Nev./Stanford) entered as pinch runner for Clark and got thrown out at second trying to steal but Schutzler scored on the throw down for the first run of the game.
Chinese Taipei took immediate control of the game in the bottom of the first inning when Chen Miao Yi tripled off USA starter Brianne McGowan (Reno, Nev./Oregon State) and scored on an RBI triple by Lai Meng Ting. She later scored on an error by USA shortstop Courtney Bures (Haymarket, Va./Mississippi State). McGowan regained her composure retiring the first two batters in the second on grounders but Chen, who reached safely in three at-bats, began a two out rally with a single. Lai then reached on a throwing error by USA catcher Callista Balko (Salinas, Calif./Arizona) that allowed Chen to score for the third run of the game.
Taipei pitcher Wu Chia Yen allowed two singles the following two innings one in the second by Balko and one in the third by Sarah Fekete (Maryville, Tenn./Tennessee), who was 4-4 on the day. Angela Tincher (Eagle Rock, Va./Virginia Tech) took over in the circle for the USA to start the third. Despite allowing a leadoff walk, she retired the next three batters in order to keep the USA in the game.
Cambria Miranda (Camarillo, Calif./Oregon State) lifted the USA spirits with a line shot homer in the fourth inning. Katie Cochran (Yorba Linda, Calif./Arizona State) followed with a single to left and Balko was hit by a pitch to put two runners on base. A walk by Norrelle Dickson (Orange, Calif.) loaded the bases but all runners were left stranded and left the USA trailing 3-2.
Chinese Taipei cushioned its lead in the fifth off a single by Lai that scored Chen for a 4-2 win.