AUGUST 7 SPY UPDATE
USA Softball goes 2-0 at the Mayor’s Cup in Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico – The USA Softball Women’s National team captured two wins at the Copa Francisco Reyes Cup (Mayor’s Cup) on Tuesday the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today. In preparation for the Pan American Games/World Championship Qualifier, which is scheduled for August 10-18, Team USA came away with an 11-5 win over Canada and followed up with a 5-1 win over Argentina.
USA 11, Canada 5
Delayed almost three hours due to the rain, Team USA faced off against Canada for the fourth time this season in their opener for the Mayor’s Cup. Cheridan Hawkins (Anderson, Calif.) got the start and win at pitcher for the USA. In three innings, Hawkins struck out five batters and surrendered just three hits and three runs. In the top of the fourth, Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif.) entered in relief to close out the game. Moore issued one strikeout, giving up two runs and five hits.
Canada got the early lead in the bottom of the first inning after a hit-by-pitch and a single put two Canadian runners on base. Erika Polidori then connected for a two-run double to put Canada up 2-0. The lead would hold until the top of the third inning, when the U.S. responded with six runs to take the lead. Destinee Martinez (Corona, Calif.) started the inning with a walk and was moved to second on a wild pitch from Canadian starter Sara Plourde. Rhea Taylor (Atlanta, Ga.) then dropped a bunt down to advance the runner, but an errant throw by the third baseman moved Martinez to third and put Taylor on second base. Plourde issued another walk to Raven Chavanne (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) to load the bases. After a walk to Lauren Gibson (Pasadena, Md.), which plated Martinez, a pitching change was made for Canada as Jocelyn Cater entered in relief for Plourde.
Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) kept the U.S. rally going with an RBI single to bring Taylor home and tie the game at 2. Two back-to-back walks to Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) and Lauren Chamberlain (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) brought in two more runs for Team USA, and two sac-hits by Nicole Hudson (Webb City, Mo.) and Kourtney Salvarola (Arnold, Md.) brought in an additional two runs for the U.S. to move their lead to 6-2.
Canada would respond with a run in the bottom of the third after Caitlin Lever connected for a double. Jennifer Yee then hit a sac-fly to left field to score Lever to make it a 6-3 ballgame. Moore entered the ball game in relief for Hawkins in the bottom of the fourth inning. A hit-by-pitch put a runner on first and an error gave Canada a base runner and Victoria Hayward took advantage with an RBI double. After four innings the score was USA 6, Canada 4.
Team USA would add another two runs in the sixth inning. To start off the top of the sixth, Martinez advanced to first on a single, prompting another pitching change for Canada as Marina Demore entered in relief for Cater. Taylor would advance to second on a fielder’s choice, in which Martinez was thrown out in an attempt to go to third. Chavanne then hit an RBI single to score Taylor and advanced to second on the throw from the outfield. Gibson responded with another RBI single to plate Chavanne to give USA an 8-4 lead.
Canada responded again in the bottom of the sixth as Lever scored off a Jennifer Yee single. The Red, White and Blue would bring in an additional three runs in the top of the seventh inning to secure an 11-5 win over Canada.
USA 5, Argentina 1
The U.S. jumped on the board quick in their second matchup of the day against Argentina. Sara Nevins (Pineallas Park, Fla.) got the win for Team USA, pitching the first three innings of the game. Nevins issued four strikeouts, giving up one run and three hits. Aimee Creger (Yukon, Okla.) entered in relief for the U.S. in the top of the fourth. Creger shut down the Argentina offense, allowing no hits while issuing five strikeouts. Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) closed out the game for the U.S., retiring all three batters faced with two strikeouts and a groundout.
Nicole Hudson (Webb City, Mo.) provided the first base runner for the U.S. in the bottom of the first inning after being issued a walk by Argentina’s pitcher Virginia Sciuto. Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) followed up with a fielder’s choice, in which Hudson reached safely, to give the U.S. two runners on base. Arioto then sent a long ball over the left field fence to put the U.S. up 3-0 after the first inning.
Argentina would put a run on the board in the top of the third inning as Aldana Gomez scored on a single by Agustina Godoy. Team USA responded in the bottom of the inning with another run after Hudson, who was put on base by a walk, scored on a single by Taylor Thom (Cedar Park, Texas). Another scoreless at-bat by Argentina in the top of the fourth brought the U.S. back to the plate to extend their lead. Rhea Taylor (Atlanta, Ga.) started the bottom of the fourth with a single and advanced to second on a bad throw by the third baseman. Lauren Chamberlain (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) advanced Taylor with a fly-out to centerfield and Taylor Hoagland (Flower Mound, Texas) would bring Taylor home with a sac-fly.
Both squads were retired in the final three innings of the game, securing a USA 5-1 win.
With the wins, USA moves to 2-0 at the Mayor’s Cup. The USA will play Cuba at 5 p.m. EST and Puerto Rico at 7 p.m. EST tonight to close out pool play. The playoffs are scheduled to begin on Thursday, August 8. Live stats and online streaming is available during the Mayor’s Cup, and links can be found by visiting USASoftball.com.
RACERS OVERPOWERED BY OSTERMAN, FALL TO PRIDE 8-2
AKRON, OH – August 5, 2013 – Two days after Ivy Renfroe and the Racers gave Cat Osterman her third loss of the season, Akron sent Rachele Fico to the circle to try and beat the veteran lefty and the USSSA Pride once more and split the series. But Osterman and the USSSA offense came out in full force and beat the Racers 8-2.For the third time this series the Pride got on the board early, taking a 1-0 lead over the Racers in the top of the first inning. After getting two quick outs, Fico gave up one run but struck out Francesca Enea to end the early threat.
The Pride struck again in the top of the second inning, but like in the first inning Fico pitched herself out of a jam by getting the last out of the inning via the strikeout, this time fooling Kretschman on a 1-2 count. USSSA scored adding another run in the top of the third inning on a solo home run by Duran, three more in the top of the fourth inning, and another pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning, aided around the bases by four Akron errors.
Fico lasted until the fourth inning, when Hillary Bach relieved her with two outs. Bach pitched one complete inning, giving up two runs on four hits. Jen Mineau finished the game for Akron, pitching just over two innings of scoreless relief, giving up one hit and catching Keilani Ricketts looking to end the fifth inning.
The Racers had a chance in the bottom of the second, loading the bases with two outs thanks to two walks and a fielder’s choice, but Osterman sent Brianna Turang down swinging on three pitches to end the inning.
Osterman held Akron hitless and scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning when Brigette Del Ponte and Jessica Garcia hit back-to-back two-out singles. With Aja Paculba at the plate, Del Ponte executed a perfect delay steal and came around to score four pitches later on Paculba’s single. But Turang went down on strikes again to end the home threat. The Racers got on the board again in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring their second run on Charlotte Morgan’s sixth home run of the season, a high-flying solo shot that just escaped over the left field fence. In the end, however, Osterman held the Racers to just two runs on five hits for her 15th win of the season. Fico took the loss for Akron, her fifth of the season.
The Racers are scheduled to begin a four-game series against the Chicago Bandits this Thursday, August 8 at 7:05 p.m. Before the Thursday night contest the two teams will resume their halted game from June 28 at 4:35 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at www.akronracers.org or by calling the ticket office at (330) 376-8188.
AKRON RACERS OVERCOME OSTERMAN, BEAT USSSA PRIDE 3-1
AKRON, OH – August 3, 2013 – Rebounding after a blowout loss against one of the greatest pitchers to ever grace the circle of a softball diamond is an astronomically tough task. But the Akron Racers accomplished the feat this evening, beating Cat Osterman and the USSSA Pride 3-1.
Downed by Sarah Pauly and drenched by a summer storm the previous night, the Racers turned to rookie Ivy Renfroe to turn the tides on the Pride. The same day she confirmed that she will not retire after this season, Osterman took to the circle against the Racers looking to extend the Pride’s three-game win streak to four. But Renfroe showed maturity beyond her rookie status as she skillfully maneuvered her way up and down the Pride lineup, allowing just one earned run and walking four while striking out three batters and earning her third win of the season.
USSSA showed their characteristic aggressiveness at the plate and got on the board first, scoring one run in the top of the first inning on GiOnna DiSalvatore’s sacrifice fly to deep right field that sent home Natasha Watley, who led off the game with a single.
But the Racers promptly responded in the bottom of the frame, thanks to back-to-back singles from leadoff hitter Kelley Montalvo and Ayumi Karino. In defiance of her recent struggles at the plate, Charlotte Morgan came up next and clobbered the first pitch she saw from Osterman into the left-center field gap for a two-run double that put Akron up and on the board 2-1.
The Racers didn’t wait long to score again, adding to their lead in the bottom of the second inning. Osterman intentionally walked Morgan to load the bases for Kaylyn Castillo, who ran the count to 2-2 before hitting an opposite-field single that easily sent home Aja Paculba. Those three runs proved to be all of the offense the Racers needed to beat Osterman.
The game became a pure pitcher’s duel after the second inning as both Renfroe and Osterman settled down and held both offenses scoreless for the remainder of the game. The Racers defense also came through in the clutch for her, making a number of game-saving plays while committing just one error. Osterman lost for just the third time this season, pitching another complete game and allowing three earned runs while walking four and striking out eight.
Akron and USSSA are scheduled to play the third game of this four-game series tomorrow afternoon, August 4, at 2:05 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased at the stadium an hour before gametime or online at www.akronracers.org.
-Ivy Renfroe pitched her fifth complete game and picked up her third win of the season.
-The Racers won their 14th game of the season, matching last year’s win total.
-Kelley Montalvo left the game in the second inning with a leg injury.