STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State softball head coach Jay Miller has helped lead the United States Junior National team to the Gold Medal in the eighth annual Junior Women's World Championships in Enschede, The Netherlands. The victory capped off a perfect 11-0 record for the Americans and marks their first Gold Medal since 1995.
After giving up an unearned run in the first inning, the U.S. responded in the second. Tennessee's Tiffany Huff and Ashley Brignac (Louisiana-Lafayette) singled, putting runners at the corners with no outs. Biana Mejia tied the game with a single up the middle, followed by a Brittany Lastrapes (Arizona) single through the right side to give the U.S. the lead. The Red, White and Blue added an insurance run in the fifth inning.
"I thought we played real well during the round robin," said Miller. "Once we got to the medal round, we had the big face off with Japan. We played a great game and won 3-0, and then faced them again in the gold medal game. That was a tough game. We were fortunate to get the hits when we needed them and drive in some runs. It was a great ballgame and a great win for the U.S. Bringing the gold back after 12 years was a great accomplishment."
Over the 11 games, the U.S. outscored its opponents, 88-4.
Miller is no stranger to international competition. In the early '90s, Miller served on the National Team selection committee that was in charge of choosing the inaugural USA Softball Team that competed in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. He has also served as a head coach with the USA Red Squad that captured Gold in the 2001 U.S. Cup and the USA Elite Team that took home runner-up honors at the 2002 Canada Cup and the championship of the 2003 Canada Cup. He also served as an assistant for the USA National Team that won gold at both the Pacific Rim Sports Summit and the International Cup in 2005.