June 20, 2007
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee Lady Vol softball player Tiffany Huff and her U.S. Junior National teammates are preparing to open the VIII ISF Junior Women's World Championship, which will be contested over June 20-30 in Enschede, Netherlands. The Americans will begin their Pool B action against Puerto Rico on Thursday, June 21, at 1 p.m. ET. The Red, White & Blue earned their berth into the event by tallying a perfect 10-0 record during the Pan American Qualifier last summer in Caguas, Puerto Rico.
The U.S. is bidding for its third World Junior crown and its first in 12 years. The Red, White & Blue won the event in 1987 in Oklahoma City, Okla., and in 1995 in Normal, Illinois. Japan has maintained a bit of a stranglehold on the title with four overall championships (1981, 1991, 1999, 2003), having defeated Team USA for the gold in each of those years, and enters 2007's action as the two-time defending titlist. China picked up its lone crown in 1985 in Fargo, North Dakota. The Americans have never finished outside the top three at the Junior World Championships by registering two gold medals, four silvers and a bronze (1985) in seven previous visits.
Sixteen teams from around the world earned a spot into the World Championships which are held every four years, including: Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, USA, and Venezuela. Four of those teams are making their Junior Women's World Championship debut (Botswana, Germany, Puerto Rico, and South Africa). Team USA will open preliminary round action in Pool B alongside Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Canada, Italy, Puerto Rico and Russia.
Tennessee's Huff made quite a splash for the Lady Vols during her rookie campaign by hitting .339 (62-of-183) over 61 games with 11 doubles, a triple, six home runs and 58 RBI. The freshman All-Southeastern Conference selection also scored 24 runs, stole seven bases, slugged at a .508 clip and registered 17 multi-hit efforts while helping the Big Orange to the program's first No. 1 national ranking, a 63-8 overall record and an eventual second-place finish at the annual Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla. A native of Saugus, Calif., Huff tied for the team-lead with 16 multi-RBI contests and posted a career-best five RBI in UT's commanding 9-0 (5 inn.) victory over No. 12 Hawai'i in Tennessee's NCAA Super Regional opener.
Event organizers are planning to attempt a live webcast of some of the games through the official event website http://www.wksoftbaljunioren2007.nl/home-en. For more information including potential live statistics, please visit the Junior Women's World Championship page through USA Softball at www.usasoftball.org. Updates on Huff and the U.S. squad will be posted at www.utladyvols.com as they become available.
U.S. Schedule at the VIII ISF Junior Women's World Championship
|Pool B Action|
|Thursday, June 21||U.S. vs. Puerto Rico||1 p.m. ET|
|Friday, June 22||U.S. vs. Australia||2 p.m. ET|
|Saturday, June 23||U.S. vs. Canada||10:30 a.m. ET|
|Sunday, June 24||U.S. vs. Botswana||6:30 a.m. ET|
|Monday, June 25||U.S. vs. Argentina||10:30 a.m. ET|
|Tuesday, June 26||U.S. vs. Russia||11:30 a.m. ET|
|Wednesday, June 27||U.S. vs. Italy||1 p.m. ET|
Thursday, June 28 through Saturday, June 30
***Enschede, Netherlands is six hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone