TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Two members of the Florida State softball family were able to compete internationally for their countries recently as sophomore Ellie Cooper (New Zealand) and former Seminole Kaleigh Rafter (Canada) participated in the 2014 ISF XIV World Championships in Haarlem, Netherlands on August 15-24.
Cooper and the NZ White Sox played well in a tough group at the international tournament. After winning their opening game to Russia, 5-1, New Zealand dropped their next three games against Cuba, Canada and eventual World Champion Japan.
New Zealand would record victories against the Czech Republic and Puerto Rico to close out group play and qualify for the bracket stage. The White Sox fell to Chinese Taipei, 3-0, in the first round of the playoff to end the tournament in eighth place. The eighth place finish for New Zealand was its highest finish at the ISF World Championships since 2002.
Cooper played very well on the international stage, batting .263 (5-for-19) with a double, four walks, and a stolen base. She also scored six runs and no other player on the team scored more than two runs in the entire tournament. Cooper led, or tied for the team lead, in four different categories and her .417 on-base percentage was second on the White Sox.
Rafter and Team Canada continued to show why they are one of the best international teams as they posted a 6-1 record in pool play to receive a bye in the playoffs. They posted two shutouts, Russia (11-0) and China (2-0), and held opponents to just one run in three other games – Czech Republic (8-1), New Zealand (8-1) and Chinese Taipei (2-1).
Canada would finish in fourth place overall after falling to Australia in the playoffs by a score of 7-3. The United States and Japan played for the championship with Japan defeating Team USA, 4-1.
Rafter highlighted a solid Canada roster and was one of the best players in the entire tournament. The Guelph, Ontario, native who played for the Seminoles in 2009 batted .393 (11-for-28) with two doubles, two home runs, seven RBI, three walks and five runs scored at the World Championships.
Her .438 on-base percentage was second on the team and her slugging percentage of .679 led not only the team but the entire tournament. Overall, she placed in the top 10 of all players in six different statistical categories and also led all hitters with 19 total bases.
The biennial tournament will next take place in Surrey, Canada as the 2016 ISF XV World Championships will be held on July 15-24, 2016.