USA SOFTBALL UPDATE
August 11 2010
JR WOMEN RUN-RULE ARGENTINA
BOGOTA, Colombia — Arizona duo Lauren Haeger (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Dallas Escobedo (Glendale, Ariz.) combined for a one hit shutout of Argentina at the III Pan American Championship (18-Under) in Bogota, Colombia, improving the team to 3-0 in the tournament. With the 7-0 victory behind them, the Red, White and Blue have three pool play games remaining in Bogota, Colombia, against Mexico, Canada and Brazil, before the start of elimination play on Friday.
“Lauren and Dallas did another great job for us in the circle,” Head Coach Karen Johns (Starkville, Miss.) said. “But I thought what really did it for us today was excellent base running. When three hitters go for extra bases and five runners are able to steal, you are able to take command of the game in a different way than we did against Colombia and Peru. I was really proud of the all around effort of the team. Each time they come out on to the field, they bring a new dimension to the USA jersey, and everyone should be proud to have these young ladies representing them .”
Team USA scored two runs in the first, the first coming when an illegal pitch from Florencia Acosta brought in Kylee Lahners (Laguna Hills, Calif.), who doubled to start of the inning. Hallie Wilson (North Tustin, Calif.), who singled, advanced to second on an error and advanced to third on the illegal pitch, also scored on a sacrifice fly from Lauren Chamberlain (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.). It became a 3-0 game in the third inning when Madison Shipman’s (Valencia, Calif.) sac fly to left advanced Wilson, who singled up the middle, stole second and advanced to third on Chamberlain’s second sac fly of the game.
“Definitely our bats are a big advantage for us,” Haeger said. “Everyone can swing the bat. People from the bench can come on and swing really well. We just keep hitting, waiting on pitches, making adjustments and being patient.”
After Team USA scored a run on an error in the fourth, Wilson led off the fifth by being hit with a pitch, then stole second. Chamberlain doubled to left field to score Wilson, who went 2-for-2 in the game with three runs scored and two stolen bases. A triple from Cheyenne Cordes (Fairfield, Calif.) brought in Chamberlain and she scored the final run when Amber Freeman (Lakewood, Calif.) walked with bases loaded.
Haeger faced 13 batters in her four innings of work. She recorded seven strikeouts, the most of any American pitcher to take the circle in the tournament thus far, while walking one. Argentina’s only hit, and the only hit for a USA opponent in the first three games of the Pan American Championship, came off Haeger in the third when right fielder Bianca Benaglia singled to left.
“I hit my spots really well and was throwing hard,” said Haeger, who also worked one inning of relief Sunday against Colombia, striking out three and walking one in that performance. “I had basically all of my pitches working for me. All and all, I think I did pretty well.”
Escobedo struck out two of the three batters she faced in her inning of work against Argentina. With Haeger, she threw a combined no hitter in Team USA’s opening game of the tournament, striking out six Colombian batters.
JR WOMEN NO-HITTER VS PERU
BOGOTA, Colombia — Behind a combined no hitter from Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif.) and Erin Gabriel (Poland, Ohio), the 2010-11 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team shut out Peru 15-0 in three innings at the III Pan American Games (18-Under) in Bogota, Colombia. The Red, White and Blue improve to 2-0 in the tournament with the second consecutive no hit performance from the pitching staff.
“The strength of any United States team is the talent in the circle. The Junior Women’s National Team is no exception,” said Head Coach Karen Johns (Starkville, Miss.). “I knew any combination of our pitching staff could be successful here in Bogota but two consecutive no hitters, that is more than I could ask them for. To have those unstoppable performances in the first two games these girls have ever played in the Team USA uniform tells a lot about this team.”
Dallas Escobedo (Glendale, Ariz.) and Lauren Haeger (Phoenix, Ariz.) threw a combined no hitter in the opening game of the tournament, helping Team USA to a 9-1 five inning victory over Colombia on Sunday. Team USA faces Argentina at 9 a.m. Central Tuesday.
Carda worked the first two innings against Peru, striking out six batters, while walking two and hitting another with a pitch. In the top of the third, she was relieved by Gabriel, who struck out the three she faced in her inning of work. Both pitchers also went 1-for-1 at the plate with one RBI a piece.
“I just wanted to go out there and have a good start,” said Carda, who pitched in Team USA’s scrimmages earlier this week. “It was my first real game pitching for USA. I just wanted to show the other teams what we could do.”
Left fielder Cheyenne Cordes (Fairfield, Calif.) had the top offensive performance for Team USA, going 3-for-3 at the plate, two for extra bases, including one that bounced over the fence in centerfield and was called a double. She also had two RBI and three runs scored.
“Today we played Peru and the pitching was really slow,” Cordes said. “I just told myself to be patient and wait for the pitch. Every time I tell myself that I’m going to get a hit because if you don’t have confidence in yourself, you’re not going to do as well as you can.”
Team USA scored eight runs in the first inning, the first coming when Lauren Chamberlain (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) singled to second base, bringing in leadoff batter Kylee Lahners (Laguna Hills, Calif.), who singled up the middle. Madison Shipman (Valencia, Calif.) singled up the middle to bring in Hallie Wilson (North Tustin, Calif.) and Chamberlain. With the score at 3-0, Cordes doubled down the left field line to score Shipman. Carda then doubled to score Cordes to make it 4-0. An illegal pitch, an error by the left fielder and a sacrifice fly from Wilson scored the remaining four runs.
After allowing Team USA to score two runs in the second, Peru put in pitcher Eri Mochizuki for the third, but she struggled against the Red, White and Blue, walking the first four batters she faced, making it a 11-0 game. Andrea Martinez replaced Mochizuki but allowed outfield singles from Cordes, Gabriel and Cheyanne Tarango (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) to make it a 15-0 game, all the offense necessary for a second consecutive run-rule victory.
The III Pan American Championship (18U) serves as a qualifier to the 2011 International Softball Federation (ISF) Junior Women’s World Championship. In 2007, the last time that the Junior Women’s Worlds were held, Team USA defeated Japan to take home the Gold Medal.
JR WOMEN NO-HITTER VS COLOMBIA
BOGOTA, Colombia —The 2010-11 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team started the III Pan American Championship (18-Under) in Bogota, Colombia, with pitchers Dallas Escobedo (Glendale, Ariz.) and Lauren Haeger (Phoenix, Ariz.) combining for a no hitter against the host country. Team USA beat Colombia 9-1 in five innings to kick off the qualification tournament for next year’s International Softball Federation (ISF) Junior Women’s World Championship in Cape Town, South Africa.
“It felt really good,” said Lauren Chamberlain (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.), who, like her 16-teammates, is making her debut in international competition. “It was really weird being out there, looking down and seeing that USA on your chest. It has always been a dream for all of us. I think we really came together for that game. It was a solid game. It was a good start to the tournament.”
After scoring one run in the top of the second, from a Kourtney Savarola (Arnold, Md.) sacrifice fly that allowed Shelby Pendley (Albuquerque, N.M.) to cross the plate, the Red, White and Blue broke a 1-0 game open in the fourth, scoring eight runs. While Team USA had four hits, they also benefited from a Colombian defense that committed three errors.
“It took a few innings for the team to find their rhythm but once they became comfortable, they really went to work,” Head Coach Karen Johns (Starkville, Miss.) said. “I am incredibly proud of how they performed their first time ever playing in the USA jersey. It was amazing to see Dallas and Lauren combine to no-hit Colombia, who had a really enthusiastic crowd behind them. Everyone did a nice job of backing them up. It was a real team effort.”
The rally started with an Amber Freeman (Lakewood, Calif.) single that plated Pendley, who singled to second base and advanced on an error. With the game at 4-0 later in the fourth, third baseman Chamberlain hit a home run to center field, scoring Kylee Lahners (Laguna Hills, Calif.), who reached on an error.
“I was sprinting my butt off to first but hoping for a home run,” said Chamberlain, who noted the Colombian crowd was the loudest she had ever played in front of. “I was just thinking solid contact. The center fielder knocked over the fence [trying to catch the ball] and it happened to go out.”
Madison Shipman (Valencia, Calif.) also reached on an error then stole second. When Cheyenne Cordes (Fairfield, Calif.) reached on an error, Shipman scored, making it 7-0. Chelsea Goodacre (Temecula, Calif.) singled to right field to bring in two more, Pendley, who walked, and Cordes.
Escobedo started in the circle for the Americans. In her four innings of work, she faced the minimum batters, striking out six, including five in a row. She was relieved in the fifth by Haeger, who struck out three while walking one.
“It felt great to play in the jersey,” Escobedo said. “I’ve looked up to everyone who has ever worn this jersey. And I’ve pitched against the top people in the world who have worn this jersey. Now I’m the one that is on the team. I am very pleased and thankful that I got the chance to play.”
Colombia’s only run of the game came in the top of the fifth when Goodacre made a throwing error to second base, attempting to catch a runner stealing. It was the second error of the game for the Red, White and Blue, the first allowed Luisa Rodriguez to reach base in the fourth.
The Americans face Peru Monday at Unidad Deportiva El Salitre then take on Argentina Tuesday at Estadio Ecopetrol. Pool play continues through Thursday with the semi-final games and the Championship Game to be held Saturday.
USOC HONORS WATLEY
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) announced softball player Natasha Watley and track & field star David Oliver as its July Athletes of the Month, while doubles tennis champions and brothers Bob and Mike Bryan were awarded Team of the Month honors.
Watley (Irvine, Calif.) is the second consecutive softball player to win the USOC Athlete of the Month as Alissa Haber took home the honor in June. Watley’s strong performance in the 2010 KFC World Cup propelled her to the top spot this month along with some help from her fans. Over the course of the World Cup, Watley hit at a .565 clip with 13 hits and a team-high seven runs scored. Her team-high 13 hits were all singles and she was a perfect 4-for-4 in stolen bases. She was one of four players to start in all seven games as the USA went 6-1 to claim its fourth World Cup title.
Prior to the inclusion of the interactive fan poll on Twitter, Watley, who also won the July 2009 award, sat in second place. However, strong fan support catapulted her to the top of the overall standings as she garnered 29 percent of the votes for the month on the online poll.
2008 Olympic bronze medalist Oliver (Kissimmee, Fla.) equaled the American record in the men’s 110m hurdles on July 3 at the Nike Prefontaine Classic with a time of 12.90. Oliver returned to the track two weeks later to shave .01 seconds off his time and set a new American record of 12.89 at the Samsung IAAF Diamond League Meeting Areva in Paris, France. Oliver’s world-leading time is now just .02 seconds off Dayron Robles’ (CUB) world record of 12.87, which was set in Ostrava in 2008. Oliver is also the 2010 USA Outdoor champion in the 110m hurdles, the 2010 World Indoor bronze medalist and 2010 USA Indoor runner-up.
Bob and MikeBryan (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) went undefeated in July en route to breaking the all-time Open era record of 62 team doubles titles by winning the Farmers Classic, an Olympus US Open Series event, in Los Angeles.
The Bryans’ quest for the record began on July 28, where the brothers defeated Olympian Mardy Fish and Mark Knowles in straight sets. The Bryans then won two more matches to reach the duo’s 100th career final. Bob and Mike defeated Eric Butorac and Jean-Julien Rojer 6-7(6), 6-2, [10-7], in the final for their 62nd team title, surpassing Australians Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde for the all-time record of most team doublestitles in the Open era.
Each National Governing Body may nominate up to but no more than one female, one male and one team per discipline. The winners are then voted on from that pool of nominees.
Taking second place in this month’s female category was Mara Abbott (Boulder, Colo.). Riding for USA Cycling’s Women’s National Development Program, Abbott became the first-ever American to win the overall Giro Donne in Italy. With her victory in the “Giro,” one of the world’s top professional women’s races, Abbott solidified her position not only as one of the world’s top climbers but also one of the world’s best all-around female cyclists.
Coming in third place was USA Basketball’s Ariel Massengale (Bolingbrook, Ill.). Massengale helped the inaugural USA Women’s U17 team to a gold medal and a perfect 8-0 record in the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women, July 16-25 in Rodez and Toulouse, France. She started in all eight games and led the USA in minutes played (22.5). Averaging 10.1 points per game, Massengale dished out a tournament-leading 5.4 assists per game. Among all tournament participants in the 12-team field, she ranked second in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.7) and tied for second in 3-point field goal percentage (.500). She finished as the USA’s high scorer with 22 points and six assists against China in the semifinals and 20 points and six assists against France in the gold-medal game. She also helped the USA to a 2-1 record in exhibition play July 9-11 in Alagon, Spain.
Coming in second place in the Male Athlete of the Month voting for the second consecutive month was USA Shooting’s Matt Emmons (Grand Rapids, Minn.). Emmons followed up a strong showing in June with an equally impressive display of talent in July. He was the first American athlete to win a quota spot for Team USA for London 2012 and shot a strong final in Men’s 50m Rifle Prone at the World Shooting Championships in Munich, Germany to win an individual bronze medal. Moreover, he was part of the Men’s Team that also won the team 50m Prone Rifle event for their second consecutive World Championship title. Emmons also made the final in Men’s 10m Air Rifle, but fell just shy of medal contention and a quota spot.
Taking third was beach volleyball star Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.). Rogers and teammate Phil Dalhausser won two international FIVB grand slam events and two domestic AVP events in July. He was also named the most outstanding player of the FIVB event in Austria. In winning the AVP Long Beach event, the team increased its AVP match win streak to 34-0. Rogers and Dalhausser reached their 500th match win as a team on July 31. That same day, Rogers was named the FIVB Beach Player Representative.
Placing second in the team voting was the USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team . The USA Women rolled undefeated (8-0) through the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship from July 16-25 in Rodez and Toulouse, France. The team downed host France, 92-62, to complete their sweep of the championships and take home gold for the U.S. Four players averaged double figures, and all 12 team members scored in five different games. The USA led the 12-team tournament in 13 of 19 statistical categories, including scoring margin (+37.4), rebounding margin (+24.6), field goal percentage (.497), 3-point percentage (.408), assists per game (18.9) and blocks per game (7.4). In individual statistical categories, five U.S. players combined for 11 top-five finishes. The USA also tallied a 2-1 exhibition record July 9-11 in Alagon, Spain.
Coming in third place was last month’s winner, the USA Softball Women’s National Team.The team went 6-1 at the KFC World Cup of Softball to take home their fourth title in five years. As a team, they hit .310 while outscoring opponents 33-6. The team had one loss but came back for two more wins, allowing only one run in the last 14 innings. The pitching staff combined for a 1.15 ERA while allowing only six earned runs in 47.0 innings. Team USA defeated 2008 Olympic gold medalists Japan, 5-1, in the championship game for the gold medal.
- Natasha Watley, Softball
- Mara Abbott, Cycling
- Ariel Massengale, Basketball
- David Oliver, Track & Field
- Matt Emmons, Shooting
- Todd Rogers, Beach Volleyball
- Bob and Mike Bryan, Tennis
- USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team
- USA Softball Women’s National Team