FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 11, 2011
USA Softball 2-1 After Weekend Play in Canada
OKLAHOMA CITY – The USA Softball Women’s National Team posted a 2-1 record in the opening weekend of the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship in Surrey, B.C., defeating Australia and Venezuela and falling to Japan. Play continues through this week with the Championship game scheduled for Sun., July 17.
Game 1 – USA 5 Australia 0 – Saturday, July 9
The US opened up play with a 5-0 win over Australia. Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif.) picked up the win, allowing two hits in four innings of play. The red, white and blue struck in the first when leadoff batter Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) belted a triple one strike away from an out. An error by Australian shortstop Forkin allowed Kaitlin Cochran (Yorba Linda, Calif.) to reach first and Moultrie to score.
The United States scored three in the third to move their lead to 4-0. Stacy May-Johnson (Reno, Nev.) singled to plate Cochran who reached on a single. A double by Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.), advanced Johnson to third, putting two runners in scoring position. Ashley Holcombe (Fayetteville, Ga.) singled to put the third run on the board and with Molly Johnson (Tucson, Ariz.) at bat, a passed ball plated Arioto for the 4-0 USA lead.
The final run of the game was scored in the fourth off a single by Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) to score Moultrie.
Whitney Canion (Aledo, Texas) came in at the top of the fifth to relieve Taylor. Canion went on to finish the game allowing two hits and issuing three walks.
Game 2 – Japan 1 USA 0 – Saturday, July 9
Despite an outstanding pitching performance by Keilani Ricketts (San Jose, Calif.), the USA was unable to push a run across the board taking a 1-0 loss against Japan in nine innings. Three U.S. players in the lineup tallied a hit including pitcher Ricketts. Kelly Grieve (Asheville, N.C.) and Jenae Leles (Sacramento, Calif.) accounted for the other hits.
After eight innings of scoreless play, Japan got the one run they needed to take the victory. With Haruka Kageyama on base due to the International Tie Breaker rule, an intentional walk to Eri Yamada and a sac hit by Misa Okubo put runners at second and third with one out. The U.S. issued another walk to Yu Yamamoto to load up the bases. With her first hit of the game, Haruna Sakamoto singled for the win.
Ricketts allowed six hits with seven strikeouts. Seven Japan runners reached with a walk.
Game 3 – Venezuela 0 USA 8 (6) – Sunday, July 10
The U.S. earned its first run-rule victory of the year when they defeated Venezuela, 8-0, in six innings. In five innings pitched, Chelsea Thomas (Pleasantville, Iowa) threw seven strikeouts and allowed only three hits for the win. Grieve led the offense going 2-for-3 with three RBI and one run scored.
Four innings of scoreless play passed until the fifth when USA Softball put up six runs off of four hits. Rhea Taylor (Buford, Ga.) scored the first run of the game after entering in to pitch for Holcombe who reached first after she was hit by a pitch. A double by Taylor Hoagland (Flower Mound, Texas) plated Taylor who went on to score off a Grieve single. Grieve took advantage of wild pitch to score the third run of the inning. The duo of M. Johnson and S. Johnson accounted for the fourth run when M. Johnson scored off a S. Johnson single. Arioto, with two outs against her, launched a two-run homerun for the final two runs of the inning.
The red, white and blue tacked on two more runs in the sixth when another single by Grieve scored Moultrie and Hoagland. In the bottom of the sixth, Megan Langenfeld (Bakersfield, Calif.) relieved Thomas and needed to keep Venezuela off the board to end the game in six due to the run-ahead rule. With two fly outs and a strikeout issued to the top of the Venezuela lineup, the USA did just, walking away with an 8-0 victory.
The USA continues play today with host Canada at 8:30 p.m./CT. Be sure to log onto www.canadianopenfastpitch.com for coverage of the event including live video stream, stats and box scores.