Pictured above: Team USA, including Janie Takeda (back row, fifth from left), Janelle Lindvall (back row, fourth from right), and Jessica Moore (back row, second from right).

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Ducks Power USA to World Cup Victory

In the end, Japan didn’t stand a chance. The USA jumped out to a big lead early in the World Cup final on July 5, lighting up the scoreboard before the fans had barely settled into their seats. The Japanese fought valiantly and cut the deficit to two midway through the game, but ultimately it wasn’t enough as the Americans kept scoring and finished the day holding the World Cup trophy aloft.

We are, of course, talking about the softball World Cup final, held in Irvine, California, where the USA defeated Japan 6-1 while their soccer counterparts were 1,300 miles away in Vancouver at the same time winning their own World Cup title over the same nation, 5-2.

The softball team, however, had something the soccer team didn’t: a prominent green and yellow streak mixed in with the red, white, and blue.

Three Ducks—Jessica Moore, BS ’13, Janelle Lindvall, and Janie Takeda—all represented the USA during World Cup X, with pitcher Moore getting the start in the final and picking up the win, while Lindvall went 1-3 and knocked in the final two runs on a double to left field.

The USA went 7-1 in the tournament, losing only to Canada—where fellow Duck Karissa Hovinga earned the win for the Canadians—and picked up their eighth World Cup title in the 10 years the tournament has been held. The only other nation to take home the title? Japan, who faced the USA in seven of the ten championship games.

The trio of Ducks played prominent roles as the Americans powered their way to their eighth World Cup title. Moore, the ace of the staff, led the way with three wins, including the final. Her 17 strikeouts were also a team best, and her microscopic ERA of .467 was bettered only by UCLA senior Ally Carda, who did not give up a run in 7.2 innings pitched. Takeda’s eight hits were second only to Raven Chavanne, and among players with multiple at bats, her batting average of .533 was bettered only by Chavanne. Lindvall, who will be back for her senior year with the Ducks next season when Jane Sanders Stadium opens, started three games behind the plate for the USA, including both clashes with Japan.

Of the eight teams at World Cup X, half had Ducks on their rosters. In addition to second-place Canada’s Hovinga, who went 2-0 with an ERA of 0.00, the USA Junior Women’s National Team (4-4) finished fifth, thanks in large part to UO sophomore-to-be Jenna Lilley, who was second on the team with five RBIs, and third seven hits. Koral Costa sent two of her nine hits over the fence to lead Mexico (3-5, sixth place) in both hits and home runs.