New Zealand and Australia qualify for WBSC U-18 Women's Softball World Cup Group Stage

New Zealand and Australia qualify for WBSC U-18 Women's Softball World Cup Group Stage
09/11/2023
American Samoa hosted the three-team qualifying tournament. Eight National Teams are now qualified for the WBSC U-18 Women's Softball World Cup Group Stage.

World No. 23 New Zealand and No. 7 Australia qualified for the U-18 Women's Softball World Cup Group Stage by finishing first and second respectively in the WBSC U-18 Women's Softball World Cup Oceania Qualifier at the Tony Solaita Field in Tafuba, American Samoa.

New Zealand went undefeated in the three-team tournament, beating Australia (4-3, 5-3) and American Samoa (18-3, 5-4). Australia beat American Samoa (12-5, 14-0) to finish with a 2-2 record.

The last day of games was cancelled due to inclement weather.

Australia's Lekhya Jackson went 7-for-11, had a .636 batting average, and was the best hitter. Her teammate Abbie Bastian and New Zealand's Kaiyah Ratu hit the only home runs of the tournament. Ratu and Australia's Abbie Purvis led in RBIs with seven.

Mckenzie Bailey-McDowell led all pitchers. She started both games against Australia and didn't allow a run in 10.2 innings pitched. She earned one win. Bailey-McDowell allowed 13 hits and struck out nine. Her teammate Charlotte Graham, who pitched five scoreless innings to win the first game against Australia, led the tournament with 13 strikeouts.

The WBSC U-18 Women's Softball World Cup Group Stage will include 18 teams split into three groups. Dates and venues will be announced later.

Eight National Teams have already qualified.

Africa (2)
Americas (5)
Asia (3) No. 2 Japan, No. 5 Chinese Taipei, No. 11 China
Europe (3) No. 10 Czechia, No. 8 Italy, No. 17 Ireland
Oceania (2) No.23 New Zealand, No. 7 Australia
Wild Cards (3)

The next edition of the WBSC U-18 Women's Softball World Cup will count as the 15th of the Women's Softball Cadet World Cup. The International Softball Federation (ISF) inaugurated a Junior Women's Softball World Championship in 1981 and held 12 editions.

The tournament remained in the U-19 age bracket but changed its name to the U-19 Softball World Cup in 2019. The age bracket changed to U-18 for the 2020 edition, played in 2021 in Lima, Peru.