World Cup of Softball 2013: Picks and Predictions for Entire Tournament

Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIJuly 10, 2013

From July 11 to July 14, the 2013 World Cup of Softball will take place in Oklahoma City, Okla. The top five teams in the world all coming together to compete for the right to be named the champions of the softball world, thus creating the greatest stage in all of softball.

The question is, how will it all transpire?

Australia, Canada, Japan, Puerto Rico and the United States of America will all participate in the World Cup of Softball. With each team possessing a strong chance at winning the crown, we're suddenly left with a wide-open field.

The question is, who will win big when it's all said and done?

 

Full Schedule

DateTeam No. 1 Team No. 2Time
July 11, 2013Japanvs.Australia5:30 p.m. ET
 USAvs.Canada8 p.m. ET
July 12, 2013Puerto Ricovs.Canada12:30 p.m. ET
 Canadavs.Japan3 p.m. ET
 USAvs.Australia8 p.m. ET
July 13, 2013Puerto Ricovs.Japan11 a.m. ET
 Puerto Ricovs.Australia1:30 p.m. ET
 Australiavs.Canada4 p.m. ET
 USAvs.Japan9 p.m. ET
July 14, 2013USAvs.Puerto Rico1 p.m. ET

 

Championship Round

DateTeam No. 1 Team No. 2Time
July 14, 2013Seed No. 5vs.Seed No. 43:30 p.m. ET
 Seed No. 3vs.Winner of No. 4 vs. No. 56 p.m. ET
 Seed No. 1vs.Seed No. 29 p.m. ET

 

Round-by-Round Predictions

DateWinner LoserScore
July 11, 2013Japanvs.Australia5-3
 USAvs.Canada4-1
July 12, 2013Canadavs.Puerto Rico3-2
 Japanvs.Canada7-1
 USAvs.Australia5-2
July 13, 2013Japanvs.Puerto Rico6-5
 Australiavs.Puerto Rico2-0
 Canadavs.Australia4-1
 USAvs.Japan7-6
July 14, 2013USAvs.Puerto Rico6-4

 

Championship Round Predictions

DateWinner LoserScore
July 14, 2013Australiavs.Puerto Rico5-2
 Australiavs.Canada4-0
 USAvs.Japan3-1

 

Japan Returns to Familiar Place

As previously alluded to, Japan won the 2005 World Cup of Softball with a 3-1 victory over Team USA. Since then, Japan has reached the gold-medal round in four separate tournaments.

2013 will continue that trend.

Japan has the talent and coaching necessary to win any year, which makes an upset of the U.S. a legitimate possibility. As it has in four of the past six World Cup of Softball events, however, the team will fall short of defeating the Americans.

A heartbreaking loss, but a second-place finish is hardly worth shedding tears over.

The Japanese softball team has established a reputation as one of the elite teams in the world. With the Americans as its top threat to the crown, however, Japan will taste the defeat that it's grown far too accustomed to.

All the riches to Team USA.

 

USA Wins Again

The inaugural World Cup of Softball was held in 2005, as Japan defeated the United States by a score of 3-1 to become the first-ever champions. Since then, Team USA and Japan have met in four of the past six events.

Not only has the U.S. defeated Japan in each of those four title bouts, but it has won six consecutive World Cup of Softball Championships.

That trend continues in 2013, as Ken Eriksen and Co. continue their reign of dominance. Japan will pose a familiar threat to the title, but when it's all said and done, the Americans have too powerful a team to slip up in this event.

2006 continues to be a distant memory.

At the heart of its success will be a fair balance of bats and arms, as the hitters come up when they're needed most. In the end, however, it all comes down to pitching, as USA rides what has taken the team so far in the past.

Supreme coaching and elite pitching.