BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — USA defeated Japan, 3-2, in The World Gameswomen’s softball final to earn the gold medal and the title of world champions. In the bronze medal game, Chinese Taipei defeated Australia, 6-0, and won a medal at the world championship level for the first time in 20 years.
In a thrilling gold medal game, Janae Jefferson`s base-clearing double in the bottom of the second inning was the game-winning play for USA. The hosts defeated Japan, 3-2, and won not only the gold medal, but also retained the women’s softball world champion title.
The game was played at Hoover Met Stadium in front of a bumper crowd of 8,200 softball fans who thrived on every play, creating an amazing atmosphere for the two top-ranked women’s softball teams in the world.
It is USA’s 12th women’s softball world title, and third consecutive. For Japan it’s the sixth second place finish at world championship level.
The final was also a repeat of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games gold medal gamelast year however, that time, Japan beat USA to retain their Olympic title.
Chinese Taipei earned The World Games softball bronze medal on the back of a superb performance by young pitching ace Hsia-Ai Ke. This is Chinese Taipei’s first podium at a world championship level in 20 years, and the third overall podium. They finished in third place in the 2002 World Championship and runner-up in 1982 on home soil.
Ke, who led Chinese Taipei to the WBSC U-18 Women’s Softball World Cupsilver medal last year, pitched an absolute gem against Australia. She tossed a 2-hit shutout, striking out 4 with 2 walks.
In the fifth-place play off, Puerto Rico defeated Canada, 1-0, while Italy finished in seventh place after winning their last game against Mexico.
Haylie McCleney was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of The World Games softball competition. The local outfielder hit .553 with 4 runs and 5 RBI as USA’s leadoff hitter.