In a thrilling Monday night final that was televised live on ESPN2 from the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla., the USA Softball Women's Senior National Team, including Tennessee softball standouts Lauren Gibson and Kelly Grieve, helped the U.S. top Japan, 6-4, to claim the championship of the World Cup of Softball VI.
The title marked the fifth consecutive for the Americans at the World Cup as the squad posted a 5-1 record at the event with its lone defeat occurring during preliminary round action against Canada. The Canadians finished third at 4-2 overall, with Australia (3-3), Great Britain (2-4) and the Czech Republic (0-6) rounding out final positions four through six.
Grieve, who received playing time in all six contests for the Americans in Oklahoma City, entered the match-up for the U.S. National Team against Japan as a pinch runner for Brittany Schutte during the bottom of the sixth with Team USA leading, 4-2. The Asheville, N.C., native advanced to second and third on illegal pitches by Japanese reliever Kasumi Hirahara before plating the eventual winning tally on a two-run HR by starting second baseman Taylor Hoagland. Grieve's best offensive effort at the event came during the 7-2 opening victory over the Czech Republic as she went 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs and a pair of steals.
A Pasadena, Md., product, Gibson played in five total contests and reaped four starts at the World Cup of Softball at second base, delivering singles during preliminary round victories over Japan (8-4) and Great Britain (10-0, 4 inn.). In the final versus Team Japan, she entered the match-up for the U.S. as a defensive replacement at second base during the seventh frame.
Next up for the USA Softball Women's Senior National Team is a trip to Guadalajara, Mexico, over Oct. 17-23, where the U.S. will seek its ninth overall Pan American Games crown and seventh in a row at the XVI Pan American Games.
For the most up-to-date info on Team USA, visit the official USA Softball website at www.USASoftball.com.