USF’s Garcia helps Puerto Rico to bronze medal

University of St. Francis softball player Kayla Garcia helped lead Puerto Rico to a bronze medal at the 2017 WBSC Junior Women’s Softball World Championships in Clearwater, Florida.

Puerto Rico finished the tournament with a 7-2 record, earning its second consecutive bronze medal. The team’s only losses were to the United States (gold medalist) and Japan (silver medalist).

Garcia posted a .278 batting average during the championships with a home run, a pair of runs scored, and three driven in. She also drew three walks.

Puerto Rico, ranked No. 7 in the world, started off the championships with a perfect 5-0 record to win Pool C. Garcia hit a two-run home run in her second at bat of the tournament as her team earned a key 8-6 win over No. 5 New Zealand. The Puerto Ricans also took down No. 36 India, No. 24 Dominican Republic, No. 30 Argentina, and No. 13 Czech Republic in pool play.

In the double-elimination championship bracket, Puerto Rico suffered its first setback, falling to second-ranked USA 8-3. However, the team bounced back to win consecutive games against No. 6 China and No. 3 Canada to clinch a medal. With a 7-2 loss to No. 1 Japan, the Puerto Ricans took home the bronze medal.

The WBSC Junior Women’s Softball World Championships is for players 18-and-under and takes place every two years.

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