SOFTBALL WORLD CUP
USA Softball Women’s National Team opens World Cup VII with 8-0 victory over Puerto Rico
OKLAHOMA CITY – Centerfielder Rhea Taylor (Buford, Ga.) put Team USA on the board in the bottom of the first and they never looked back as USA Softball’s “Eagles” downed Puerto Rico 8-0 in five innings in their first game of the World Cup of Softball presented by Lumber Liquidators the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today.
“Anytime you can jump out to 1-0 in your first international tournament of the year is big,” said Team USA Head Coach Ken Eriksen. “Getting other people in the lineup is huge too so the fact that we could jump up early and get some people in who haven’t played much is very beneficial.”
Chelsea Thomas (Pleasantville, Iowa) picked up the win for the Red, White and Blue throwing 3.2 innings, only surrendering one hit and striking out six in the process. Right fielder Christi Orgeron (New Orleans, La.) lead the team on the offensive side going 2-3 with two doubles and picking up three RBI while scoring one run of her own.
Team USA got on the board early when Samantha Fischer (Simi Valley, Calif.) singled to score Taylor in the bottom of the first. After a three-up, three-down second inning for Puerto Rico, Team USA put a second run on the board when Jenae Leles (Sacramento, Calif.) crossed the plate on a Molly Johnson (Lexington, Ky.) sac-fly to center.
Another three-up, three-down inning for Thomas in the third made way for a USA rally in the bottom of the inning. Kaitlin Cochran (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Taylor each singled to begin the side and eventually scored on two separate wild pitches from Puerto Rico’s Karla Claudio. Later in the inning, Orgeron doubled to left, scoring one and giving USA a 5-0 lead.
A Johnson walk would load the bases for Team USA and two more walks for Jessica Shults (Valencia, Calif.) and Cochran would make it a 7-0 game heading into the fourth inning.
Jackie Traina (Naples, Fla.) entered the game in the top of the fourth for Team USA, appearing in her first ever international softball event. Traina picked up right where Thomas had left off, retiring the first three batters she faced.
First baseman Amanda Chidester, who entered the game in the third inning, scored the only run of the fourth inning when Orgeron doubled to left field giving Team USA the 8-0 lead.
In the top of the fifth, Traina struck out the first two batters of the inning and retired the third on a ground out to first base giving Team USA an 8-0 run-rule victory.
“This first game was a great opportunity for us to set the tone for the tournament,” said USA third baseman Jenae Leles. “I think we definitely did that with our pitching, defense, and timely hitting. We still have a lot to work on but this was a good start.”
The Red, White and Blue will return to World Cup action on Friday evening with a match up against Australia at 6 p.m. CT. The game will be aired live on ESPN and webcast at http://www.espn3.com. For more information visit www.usasoftball.com.
Other action at the World Cup of Softball presented by Lumber Liquidators
Brazil 2, Puerto Rico 1 (8 innings)
The Puerto Rico National Team (0-1) came out firing as they jumped on the board first in game one of the World Cup of Softball, but couldn’t hang on to the lead, ending up on the losing side of a 2-1, extra-inning ballgame against the Brazil National Team (1-0) on Thursday at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
Puerto Rico held the 1-0 lead for six innings before an error by third baseman Zomarie Lazano in the bottom of the seventh tied the game. In the eighth and extra inning, Puerto Rico failed to put a run on the board despite starting with a runner on second per the international-tie-breaker format. In the bottom of the inning an RBI single by Regina Someya gave the Brazil National Team the walk-off victory.
Nilze Higa’s nine strikeouts helped the Brazil National Team to the victory. Higa allowed one earned run on six hits and one walk over eight innings.
Lissetta Garay took the loss for Puerto Rico she walked four, struck out six, and allowed two runs.
Netherlands 7, Canada 6
The Canadian National Team (0-1) jumped out to an early lead scoring six runs in the first three innings, but were unable to hold on and lost 7-6 to the Netherlands National Team (1-0) on Thursday in the game two of the World Cup of Softball.
After trailing for most of the game, the Netherlands scored three runs on three hits in the top of the fifth inning to tie the game at six. An error in the seventh gave the Netherlands National Team the lead, which would hold throughout the rest of the game.
Virginie Anneveld had two extra-base hits for the Netherlands National Team. She singled in the third inning and doubled in the second and fifth innings. Dagmar Dloeming improved to 1-0 in the tournament by picking up the win for the Netherlands National Team. Bloeming struck out three, walked one and gave up two hits.
Australia 11, Brazil 1
The Brazil National Team (1-1) failed to follow up with another win on Thursday, as the Australia National Team (1-0) cruised to an 11-1 win in six innings at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
The Australia National Team scored five runs in the sixth on an RBI double by Stacey Porter, a two-run double by Porter, and an RBI single by Jodie Bowering
Porter had two extra-base hits for the Australia National Team.
The Brazil National Team couldn’t get anything going as Australia’s Zara Mee held the Brazil National Team hitless over two innings, allowing no earned runs and zero walks while striking out five.
Kaia Parnaby improved to 1-0 on the year by picking up the win for the Australia National Team. She allowed one run over four innings. Parnaby struck out three, walked none and gave up two hits.
Camila Silva ended up on the wrong side of the pitching decision, charged with her first loss of the World Cup. She allowed 11 runs in six innings, walked five and struck out two.
The Australia National Team’s Porter, Leigh Godfrey, Belinda, White and Bowering combined for seven hits and five RBIs.