Junior Spirit match it with the best, but fall short of medal

Junior Spirit match it with the best, but fall short of medal

If you were to judge the Junior Spirit’s performance purely on their finishing place, it would seem to be a disappointment.

But to do that would be to ignore some terrific performances during the tournament, including pitching a no-hitter against Japan but losing on a sacrifice fly in the final inning.

u19 worldsThat was the Junior Spirit’s only defeat in their group, in which they compiled a 5-1 win-loss record to finish second, one game behind Japan and ahead of Brazil and the Netherlands.

The USA won the World Championship by beating Japan 13-4 in the final.

In the end, the Junior Spirit’s seventh placing came down to one game – against China in the first game of the championship round. Chinese pitcher Jin Xiaofan was by no means dominant, striking out only two in seven innings, but she allowed only five scattered hits and no walks, and the Australians could not string hits together to build a rally.

Junior Spirit pitcher Tarni Stepto continued her outstanding form, striking out 10 and allowing only two runs. Stepto was one of the standout pitchers of the tournament, finishing with a minuscule 0.78 earned run average despite pitching against the powerhouse teams.

There were also some impressive performances from the Junior Spirit hitters. Tamieka Whitefield (.476), Tia Waters (.444), Shannon Keevers (.444) and Brianna Trim (.438) had outstanding numbers.