Dec. 19, 2011
BERKELEY - Before she suits up in the Blue & Gold of California this spring, Golden Bear softball freshman Cheyenne Cordes won gold with the U.S. Junior National Team this weekend at the 2011 International Softball Federation (ISF) Junior Women's World Championship. On Dec. 17 in Cape Town, South Africa, the United States defeated Japan 4-1 in the championship game to secure gold.
After a semifinal loss to Japan on Dec. 16, the Americans topped Chinese Taipei 12-3 in six innings and then topped Japan to secure the top finish. The United States finishes the tournament with a record of 10-1, the only loss coming in the 9-0 five inning loss to Japan.
Cordes started all 11 matches for the U.S. and ranked second amongst the starters with her impressive .577 batting average. The Fairfield, Calif., native led the Americans in multiple categories - hits (15), homers (2, tied with Hallie Wilson), RBI (12), total bases (28) and slugging percentage (1.077).
It is the second consecutive title for the Americans. Team USA has played in each of the six previous championship games held, defeating China for the inaugural title in 1987, losing to Japan in 1991, defeating Japan in 1995 and losing to Japan in 1999 and 2003 before reclaiming the top spot from Japan in 2007.
The U.S. qualified for the Junior Women's World Championship in August 2010 by winning the III Pan American Championships (18-Under) in Bogota, Colombia, with a 9-0 record that included two wins against Canada and another against Puerto Rico. In the championship game, Team USA defeated Canada 3-1. The two teams also met in pool play during that event with the U.S. claiming a 3-0 victory. In the semifinal, the Americans defeated Puerto Rico 6-1.
Since competing in Bogota, the USA Softball Junior Women's National Team played in a summer exhibition series against the 2011 USA Softball Women's National Team in Tampa, Salem, Va., and Bowie, Md. The team reconvened in Cape Town for the first time since early July.