USA National Team falls to Japan, 2-1, in 10 innings.
July 22, 2012
WHITEHORSE, YUKON, Canada — The USA Softball National Team, including Oklahoma’s Keilani Ricketts and Jessica Shults, earned silver Sunday at the ISF XIII Women’s World Fastpitch Championship, falling to Japan, 2-1, in 10 innings of action. Ricketts got the start in the pitching circle for the American squad, throwing 9.2 innings of action.
Ricketts struck out 10 Japanese batters while walking just two. The lefthander gave up just four hits and two runs. In a pitching battle between Ricketts and Ueno Yukiko, the two teams remained scoreless until the ninth inning. With the international tie-breaking procedure placing a Japanese batter on second base to start the inning, Japan was able to score the game’s first run in the top of the ninth.
The U.S. answered in the bottom of the ninth with its own runner on second due to the international tie-breaking procedure but was unable to do so in the bottom of the 10th as the Japanese scored its game-winning run in the top of the inning.
It was a revenge game for the Japanese team as The USA National Team defeated it, 3-1, on Saturday to advance to the finals. The game saw Ricketts earn her fourth win of the event as the senior-to-be came in relief in the bottom of the seventh of a 1-1 game. Ricketts struck out the first Japanese batter she saw to end the inning before retiring all three opposing batters in order in the bottom of the eighth to end the game.
Ricketts ended the competition with a record of 4-0 and an ERA of 1.04 with 25 strikeouts in 27 innings of action. Ricketts allowed just 11 hits and four walks in her action in Canada. At the plate, Ricketts finished the event with a batting average of .429 that was bolstered by one home run and four runs batted in.
Shults played in four games and finished the championship with a .200 average while scoring four times. At the plate, Shults had one double with three RBIs.