Category Archives: IOC

8-3-2016 IOC Adds Baseball/Softball to 2020 Tokyo Program

Softball and baseball added to Tokyo 2020 Olympic program following IOC approval

Aug. 03, 2016, 2:35 p.m. (ET)

OKLAHOMA CITY – The hopes and dreams of millions of softball athletes across the globe have been answered today as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted today to approve the addition of five new sports to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball announced today.  The decision, which comes after the IOC met in Rio de Janeiro, was made possible after the groundbreaking Olympic Agenda 2020, which provides flexibility for the future of the Olympic Movement to encourage innovation in the Olympic program.  In addition to softball/baseball, other sports that will be added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are karate, skateboard, sports climbing and surfing.

“What a truly great day for the sports of softball and baseball,” said ASA/USA Softball Executive Director Craig Cress.  “For softball and baseball to be added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games program is a dream come true for many athletes across the world.  USA Softball is proud to be the National Governing Body for the sport of softball and will continue to work diligently every day to promote our great sport of softball on the world stage.”

Softball and baseball’s global reach, loyal fan-base and positioning across many of the biggest sports markets, including Japan, offers a unique opportunity to further spread and elevate the Olympic brand.  The decision today further highlights the growing global appeal of the two sports, particularly among young people and women.  In Japan, softball/baseball have remained atop the landscape and a central part of the culture for more than 70 years.  Other factors considered in the sports package include the impact on gender equality, the youth appeal of the sports and the legacy value of adding them to the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Softball spent four “quads” as an Olympic sport debuting in the 1996 Atlanta Games with the final Olympic softball competitions taking place in Beijing in 2008. Softball and baseball were ousted from the 2012 Olympics following a vote from the IOC in 2005 in which softball, needing a simple majority of votes (53), received just 52.  Despite its exclusion from the Olympics for the past eight years, international softball has become increasingly competitive as a record 30 nations competed in last month’s 2016 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s World Championship in Surrey, B.C., Canada and a record-breaking 12 nations competed at the World Cup of Softball XI in Oklahoma City, Okla.  This was also highly showcased during the USA vs Japan All-Star Series in Tokyo and Sendai, Japan, where members of the USA Softball Women’s National Team squared off against Japan in a three-game series.  A record-breaking 31,448 fans attended Stage One of the series at the Tokyo Dome, while an additional 3,000 fans attended the final two stages at Shellcom Sendai.

“Thank you to the IOC and the WBSC for this tremendous honor for not only our sport, but our athletes and the millions of young girls who dream of one day being an Olympian,” said USA Softball Women’s National Team athlete Janie Takeda (Placentia, Calif.).  “This means so much to not only our USA Softball Women’s National Team program, but to millions of girls across the world.  Even if I’m not there, knowing that softball athletes will get to compete on the highest stage against the best competition in the world is amazing.”

In four Olympic Games appearances, the USA Softball Women’s National Team claimed three Gold Medals and one Silver Medal finish while setting numerous international records and are one of only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three-consecutive Gold Medals.  In 2012, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Lisa Fernandez and the 2004 U.S. Olympic Softball Team were honored for their accolades with induction into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.  Members of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Softball Team set 18 Olympic records in Athens.  Among the team records set were the most hits (73), highest team batting average (.343) and highest slugging percentage (.559). Fernandez set the individual record for batting average with .545 while Crystl Bustos’ 10 RBI and five home runs were also records.

This decision comes just 10 days after the USA Softball Women’s National Team claimed their first WBSC Women’s World Championship title since 2010 after defeating Japan 7-3 in the Gold Medal finale.  As a team, the U.S. finished the 2016 WBSC Women’s World Championship with a .436 team batting average, 19 home runs, 80 RBI and outscored opponents 83-10.  The pitching staff was lights out, allowing just eight earned runs for a 1.19 ERA.

 

SPY note: The WSJ says the inclusion for 2020 is not binding on future Olympiads.  IOC has 28 permanent venues, and sports like baseball/softball will have to br added as new Olympiads are proposed.

7-30-2016 PGF Innovations Boost Fastpitch Softball

Two events hosted Friday night by Premier Girls Fastpitch significantly expanded horizons for18U girls while yielding a sharp focus on players who could be selected for the 2020 USA Olympic Team.

The PGF national championship matched two traditional Gold-level powerhouses: Firecrackers Rico and Cruisers. The Firecrackers, coached by Tony Rico, defeated the Cruisers coached by Mel Siever, 2-0.  Three hits each with a strong performance by Katherine Vestal who pitched out of two bases loaded jams.

Later, the PGF inaugural All American seniors game was won by the West squad 4-3 on a walkoff single bottom 7th.  The West squad was coached by Jennie Finch, with assistants Toni Mascarenas and Crystyl Bustos.  The East squad was coached by Jennie Ritter, with Garland Cooper and Suzy Brazney.

Significantly for the long term interests of the sport, ESPN broadcast both games live.

Equally significant, the stadium at Bill Barber Park in Irvine was full both games.

US international interests are in good hands.  The national team fielded by USA Softball won Gold at its most recent tournament and a relatively young squad will be in the mix for 2020 berths with the youngsters showcased tonight.

Virtually all players in the All American game are committed, with players entering this fall into several dominant college programs including national champion Oklahoma.

 

EAST vs. WEST TEAMS – FINAL HIGH SCHOOL ALL AMERICAN SELECTIONS

Garland Cooper Coached by Jennie Finch
Jennie Ritter Toni Mascarenas
Suzy Brazney Crystal Bustos
First Name Last Name State Position College First Name Last Name State Position College
Nicole Mendes TX P/1B Oklahoma Mia Camuso CA 1B/OF Oregon
Caroline Hedgcock IL P Arkansas Amanda Doyle CA Inf LSU
Kendyl Lindaman IA C Minnesota Dejah Mulipola CA C Arizona
Jordan Roberts FL C Florida Montana Dixon CA C Stanford
Kayla Konwent WI C/3B Wisconsin Tristen Edwards CA OF/C Nebraska
Shannon Rhodes TX 3B/2B Oregon Jessica Harper CA Inf Arizona
Morgan Mc Callum S Kentucky Bradie Fillmore ID SS/P Cal
Taylor Ellis TX MI Baylor Madilyn Nickles CA P/UT UCLA
Claire Jenkins AL MI Alabama Nicole Bates CA SS Washington
Madison Naujokas IL MI JMU Mackenzie Boesel CA SS S. Carolina
Alissa Dalton TX MI/3B Oklahoma Madison Uden AZ MI Michigan
Miranda Elish IN P Oregon Nerissa Eason CA P Oregon St.
Katie Chronister FL P Florida Mariah Lopez CA P Oklahoma
Maggie Balint PA P Oregon Alyssa Loza CA P/1B ASU
Jacquelyn Switzer GA OF Florida Aaliyah Jordan CA OF UCLA
Ciara Bryan GA OF/3B Georgia Jenna Holcomb CA OF Tennessee
Elissa Brown AL Inf/OF Alabama Kelsie Whitmore CA OF/MI Fullerton
Hannah Edwards PA OF Pitt Alyssa Barrera CA OF/2B Utah
Kelbi Fortenberry TX OF/MI TX A&M Unable to Attend
Jaime Hoover GA C/3B Florida Unable to Attend
Bailey Hemphill LA C Alabama Unable to Attend

Spy could not attend and did not have a lineup so more detail was not available.

7-24-2016 IOC Decision on Russian Athletes

Decision of the IOC Executive Board concerning the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Games Rio 2016

I.

The IOC Executive Board (EB) has today further studied the question of the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Games Rio 2016. In its deliberations, the IOC EB was guided by a fundamental rule of the Olympic Charter to protect clean athletes and the integrity of sport.

The study included the discussion of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s Independent Person (IP) Report by Prof. Richard McLaren; the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on 21 July 2016 concerning the rules of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF); as well as the Olympic Charter and the World Anti-Doping Code.

Given the urgency of the situation, with the Olympic Games Rio 2016 starting in 12 days, and the athletes’ entry process already underway, the IOC EB had to take a preliminary decision with regard to the participation of Russian athletes in Rio de Janeiro. Prof. McLaren states in his report that it “fulfils partially the mandate of the Independent Person”. This is why the IOC supports his request to continue and finalise his work. On the other hand, this situation leads to an urgency for the IOC which does not allow it sufficient time for hearings for affected athletes, officials and organisations.

The IOC EB has given the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) the opportunity to present the case of the Russian athletes and the ROC. This was done by Mr Alexander Zhukov, ROC President, at the beginning of the EB telephone conference, which he left immediately following his presentation.

During his presentation, Mr. Zhukov explained that the Russian Federation and the ROC guarantee full cooperation with all international organisations to shed light on the issue in every respect. He also guaranteed that the ROC commits to a complete and comprehensive restructuring of the Russian anti-doping system. In this context, he stressed that the ROC is committed to clean sport and would work towards guaranteeing clean sport in Russia.

He further stated that all Russian athletes selected for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 have been tested over the last six months by foreign anti-doping agencies. Samples were taken by foreign doping control officers and the samples analysed in foreign laboratories. Russian athletes who participated in different competitions in all sports have submitted more than 3,000 doping samples. The vast majority of the results were negative.

The IOC EB discussed the status of the ROC. In this respect, it took note of the fact that the IP Report made no findings against the ROC as an institution.

The IOC EB took note of a letter dated 23 July 2016 from the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF). In this letter the ISSF confirms having received from WADA information about the three “disappearing samples” concerning shooting. The ISSF states that these three samples had been entered, at the time they were reported, into WADA’s ADAMS Results Management System as positives, and all the result management procedures have already been followed.

On the basis of the Findings of the IP Report, all Russian athletes seeking entry to the Olympic Games Rio 2016 are considered to be affected by a system subverting and manipulating the anti-doping system. The IP Report indicates that, due to “the highly compressed timeline”, the IP has “only skimmed the surface of the extensive data available”. The IOC EB therefore came to the conclusion that this view cannot be restricted only to athletes from the 20 Olympic summer sports mentioned in the IP Report.

Under these exceptional circumstances, Russian athletes in any of the 28 Olympic summer sports have to assume the consequences of what amounts to a collective responsibility in order to protect the credibility of the Olympic competitions, and the “presumption of innocence” cannot be applied to them. On the other hand, according to the rules of natural justice, individual justice, to which every human being is entitled, has to be applied. This means that each affected athlete must be given the opportunity to rebut the applicability of collective responsibility in his or her individual case.

After deliberating, the IOC EB decided:

1. The IOC will not accept any entry of any Russian athlete in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 unless such athlete can meet the conditions set out below.

2. Entry will be accepted by the IOC only if an athlete is able to provide evidence to the full satisfaction of his or her International Federation (IF) in relation to the following criteria:

• The IFs*, when establishing their pool of eligible Russian athletes, to apply the World Anti-Doping Code and other principles agreed by the Olympic Summit (21 June 2016).

• The absence of a positive national anti-doping test cannot be considered sufficient by the IFs.

• The IFs should carry out an individual analysis of each athlete’s anti-doping record, taking into account only reliable adequate international tests, and the specificities of the athlete’s sport and its rules, in order to ensure a level playing field.

• The IFs to examine the information contained in the IP Report, and for such purpose seek from WADA the names of athletes and National Federations (NFs) implicated. Nobody implicated, be it an athlete, an official, or an NF, may be accepted for entry or accreditation for the Olympic Games.

• The IFs will also have to apply their respective rules in relation to the sanctioning of entire NFs.

3. The ROC is not allowed to enter any athlete for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 who has ever been sanctioned for doping, even if he or she has served the sanction.

4. The IOC will accept an entry by the ROC only if the athlete’s IF is satisfied that the evidence provided meets conditions 2 and 3 above and if it is upheld by an expert from the CAS list of arbitrators appointed by an ICAS Member, independent from any sports organisation involved in the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

5. The entry of any Russian athlete ultimately accepted by the IOC will be subject to a rigorous additional out-of-competition testing programme in coordination with the relevant IF and WADA. Any non-availability for this programme will lead to the immediate withdrawal of the accreditation by the IOC.

Beyond these decisions, the IOC EB reaffirmed the provisional measures already taken on 19 July 2016. They remain in place until 31 December 2016, and will be reviewed by the EB in December 2016.

Additional sanctions and measures may be imposed by the IOC following the final report of the IP and due legal procedure by the IOC Disciplinary Commission established on 19 July 2016 under the chairmanship of Mr Guy Canivet (Vice-Chair of the IOC Ethics Commission, former member of the French Constitutional Court and President of the French Cour de Cassation) and the IOC EB.

The IOC EB reaffirms its serious concerns about the obvious deficiencies in the fight against doping. The IOC thus emphasises again its call to WADA to fully review their anti-doping system. The IOC will make its contribution to this review by proposing measures for clearer responsibilities, more transparency, better supervision procedures and more independence.

* The IAAF has already established its eligibility pool with regard to Russian athletes.

II.

The IOC EB further studied the request by the Russian track and field athlete, Mrs Iuliia Stepanova, to compete in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 as a “neutral athlete”. Since Mrs Stepanova declined to compete as a member of the ROC Team, the IOC EB had to consider the question of whether an exception to the rules of the Olympic Charter is possible and appropriate. Since this request has important ethical aspects, the IOC EB had asked the IOC Ethics Commission for its advice. The Ethics Commission has heard Mrs Stepanova and IAAF and ROC representatives.

Mrs Stepanova is basing her request on her role as “whistle-blower” with regard to the manipulation of the anti-doping system and corruption involving the WADA-accredited Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) and the IAAF. The Ethics Commission applauds the contribution of Mrs Stepanova to the fight against doping. It put this contribution into the perspective of Mrs Stepanova’s own long implication, of at least five years, in this doping system and the timing of her whistle-blowing, which came after the system did not protect her any longer following a positive test for which she was sanctioned for doping for the first time.

After a careful evaluation of the arguments, the Ethics Commission gave the following advice to the IOC EB:

“While it is true that Mrs Stepanova’s testimony and public statements have made a contribution to the protection and promotion of clean athletes, fair play and the integrity and authenticity of sport, the Rules of the Olympic Charter related to the organisation of the Olympic Games run counter to the recognition of the status of neutral athlete. Furthermore, the sanction to which she was subject and the circumstances in which she denounced the doping practices which she had used herself, do not satisfy the ethical requirements for an athlete to enter the Olympic Games.”

The IOC EB accepted the advice of the IOC Ethics Commission, also taking into consideration its above-mentioned decision not to allow any Russian athlete who has ever been sanctioned for doping to participate in the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Therefore, the IOC will not enter Mrs Stepanova as a competitor in the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

However, the IOC EB would like to express its appreciation for Mrs Stepanova’s contribution to the fight against doping and to the integrity of sport. Therefore the IOC invites Mrs Stepanova and her husband to the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Furthermore, the IOC is ready to support Mrs Stepanova so that she can continue her sports career and potentially join a National Olympic Committee.

Lausanne, 24 July 2016

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The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of USD 3.25 million goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.

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For more information, please contact the IOC Media Relations Team:
Tel: +41 21 621 6000 email: pressoffice@olympic.org, or visit our website at www.olympic.org.

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7-5-2016 World Baseball Softball Report

BASEBALL, SOFTBALL OLYMPIC APPEAL HIGHLIGHTED BY RECORD-ATTENDANCE FOR TOKYO DOME DURING INTERNATIONAL SOFTBALL SERIES
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The opening game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation-sanctioned international softball series between world’s No. 1 Japan and No. 2 United States attracted a record crowd of 31,448 fans to the iconic Tokyo Dome, reinforcing the sport’s rapid growth and its universal appeal.

It was the first time in history that an international, elite softball competition was held in the Tokyo Dome, which is the home of the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball.
Japan, the 2008 Olympic gold medalists, defeated USA, the 2004 Olympic gold medalists, 5-1. The three-game international softball showcase was staged in Japan from 23-25 June and won by Japan.
Officials from the Organising Committee of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were in attendance to observe the opening game.
The final two games of the series were brought to Sendai. It was the first international softball event in Sendai since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
A home run derby, which was held prior to each game, was a fan-favorite adding to the electric atmosphere and overall fan experience and highlighted the WBSC’s commitment to deliver a sports product that captivates and inspires audiences worldwide.
“Baseball and softball’s global reach and loyal fan-base, especially among young people and women, combined with its popularity across many of the biggest markets in the sports industry, including Japan, offers a unique opportunity to further spread and elevate the Olympic brand, while connecting it with new audiences and more young people,” WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said.
“The unprecedented success of this three-game series further highlights baseball and softball’s growing international appeal.”
Baseball / softball at the National Team level has never been as popular as it is today — among fans, broadcasters, partners and the players themselves. In Japan, baseball / softball has remained atop the landscape and a central part of the culture for more than 70 years. The WBSC Premier12 global baseball championship last November was Japan’s most-watched international sports event broadcasted in 2015.
Both the USA and Japan expanded their professional women’s softball leagues this year, which further strengthens and promotes healthy active lifestyles among women. The sport offers young people across the world — particularly girls — a safe and accessible route to get involved with sport and the WBSC is actively promoting global grassroots participation for girls and women, in line with IOC President Thomas Bach’s Olympic Agenda 2020 vision.
WBSC Secretary General, Low Beng Choo: added “It was a privilege to be in attendance at this record-breaking series. The passion, enthusiasm and dedication of the softball fans in Tokyo was clear for all to see and I have no doubt Japan is in a position to stage a remarkable WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship in 2018.”
Japan will host the flagship softball competition in 2018.
A record 31 women’s national teams will unite later this month at the 2016 Women’s Softball World Championship in Surrey, Canada.
A final vote on the composition of the sports programme for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be taken at the IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro in August, and, if approved, it would constitute “the most comprehensive evolution of the Olympic programme in modern history,” according to a recent IOC statement following the IOC Executive Board’s unanimous vote to recommend baseball/softball among a new sports package for the Olympic Games in 2020.

7-5-2016 USA Softball teams

USA Softball Women’s and Elite Teams dominate in opening games of the World Cup of Softball XI; USA Softball Slow Pitch National Team earns 25-24 win in Slow Pitch Showdown

OKLAHOMA CITY – The World Cup of Softball XI action officially kicked off today as teams battled each other and the heat at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex – OGE Energy Field – INTEGRIS Field. Highlighting the day was a 13-2 (four inning) run-rule victory by the USA Softball Women’s Elite Team and a 11-1 (four inning) win for the USA Softball Women’s National Team. Also seeing action today during Border Battle VIII, the USA Softball Slow Pitch National Team and the USA Softball Men’s Futures Slow Pitch National Team faced off in the fourth-annual Slow Pitch Showdown, with the Slow Pitch National Team earning the 25-24 win. For the day, the Slow Pitch National Team went 1-1, while the USA Futures also went 1-1.

Click here for box scores for all World Cup of Softball XI games

Click here for box scores for all Border Battle VIII games

USA Elite 13, Czech Republic 2 (four innings)

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The USA Softball Women’s Elite Team utilized a nine-run, second inning to catapult them to a 13-2 (four inning) win over Czech Republic in their first competition of the 2016 season. Behind the hot bat of Hannah Flippen (Bonita, Calif.), the U.S. hit three home runs en route to the win.

“The team did a good job of coming out and being ready to go,” said Head Coach Tairia Flowers (Tucson, Ariz.). “It’s the first true international game for a lot of these athletes, so I was excited to see some great defensive plays and at-bats during the game. We had a few jitters in the first inning, but they did a great job of locking in and making something happen in that second inning.”

Paige Lowary (Grimes, Iowa) got the start in the circle for the U.S. and her defense put in work with a pair of groundouts to record the first two outs. A walk put the first runner of the game on base, but was caught stealing as Madeline Jelenicki (Santa Clarita, Calif.) fired the ball to second to get the final out in the top of the first. Team USA would put a runner on base in the bottom half of the frame as Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.) reached on a two-out walk, but a fly ball to center kept the game tied at 0-0 through one inning of play.

The Czech Republic would get two runners on base in the top of the second off a defensive miscue and a double, but Lowary fired back with a pair of strikeouts to end the threat and keep Czech Republic off the board. The scoring got started for the Red, White and Blue in the bottom of the second, as Flippen led off the at-bat with a solo shot. A walk to Mysha Sataraka (Honolulu, Hawaii) put the next runner on for the U.S., before Jelenicki hit the second home run of the inning to plate another two runs.

“Today went really well and we hit the ball like crazy,” said Flippen. “Getting to wear the USA jersey is a huge accomplishment, and then to come out and win our first game, it was a great feeling.”

A walk to Bailey Landry (Prairieville, La.) would prompt a pitching change for the Czech Republic as Martina Blahova entered in relief for starter Veronika Peckova. Facing her first batter, Blahova walked Allexis Bennett (Corona, Calif.) and Astin Donovan (Guilford, Conn.) bunted for a single to load the bases. Three more runs for the U.S. would score as an illegal pitch would bring home Landry before Bennett and Donovan scored on a passed ball. Three-straight walks to Aguilar, Sam Fischer (Simi Valley, Calif.) and Flippen loaded the bases for the second time in the inning as Sataraka hit a sac-fly to plate Aguilar for run number seven. The U.S. would plate their last run of the inning when Fischer took advantage of a passed ball. After two innings of play, the USA Elite team led 9-0.

It was a three-up and three-down inning for Lowary in the circle as she recorded a pair of strikeouts and a groundout to bring the U.S. back to the plate. Landry led off the bottom of the third with a single to right field, and Bennett cleared the bases with a blast over right field.

The Czech Republic would score two runs in the top of the fourth inning as Tereza Jakesova and Tereza Pochobradska came around on a single and a fielder’s choice. Leading 11-2 entering the bottom of the fourth, the U.S. would earn the win via the run-rule as Bennett tripled to center to score Brooke Vines (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) and Landry.

USA 11, Philippines 1 (four innings)

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Team USA jumped out to an early lead in their first game of the World Cup of Softball XI as the Eagles captured an 11-1 (four inning) win over the Philippines. The U.S. rallied from a 1-0 deficit in the bottom of the first, combining for 12 hits, including home runs from Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.), Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Delaney Spaulding (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.).

“It’s a work in progress and we’ve still got a long way to go,” said Head Coach Ken Eriksen (Tampa, Fla.). “It’s nice to get the first game under your belt. Our defense did a great job of getting out of the first inning with only one run allowed. Jess Moore did a fantastic job of bearing down on that third out, and Raven Chavanne came up and got things going for our offense. The team felt good today.”

The Philippines would jump on the board in the top of the first inning after a walk and hit-by-pitch put two runners on base with one out. A single to center loaded the bases, and a ground ball brought in a run. The U.S. responded in the bottom half of the frame when Raven Chavanne (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) got the offense going with a leadoff double and advanced to third on a throwing error. Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) put runners on the corner, beating out a high throw to first base before swiping second to put both runners in scoring position. Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) tied up the game with a ground ball, plating Chavanne and advancing McCleney to third. A walk to Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) put runners on the corners again for the U.S., before Arioto cleared the bases with a blast over the left field fence.

Not to be outdone, Moultrie followed with a solo shot to plate run number five of the inning. A single from Spaulding continued the momentum and an Aubree Munro (Brea, Calif.) double scored the last run of the at-bat for the U.S. After one inning of play, Team USA held a 6-1 lead.

“The energy that we had in the dugout, especially coming from behind, was great,” said Chidester. “We went through the entire lineup and everyone did their part. The team really came together to put up six runs to set the tone. We kept up the energy and fought all the way through.”

Philippines was retired in order in the top of the second to bring the U.S. back to the plate. The Red, White and Blue would get base runners on in the bottom half of the inning, but were kept from adding to their lead. The U.S. had a pitching change in the top of the third, as Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif.) entered for U.S. starter Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif.). Carda continued to stifle the Philippines offense, letting her defense work behind her to keep the game at 6-1, USA.

Spaulding sparked the offense in the bottom of the third inning with a leadoff solo home run. Another two runs would get added to the U.S. lead as Janie Takeda (Placentia, Calif.) and Kasey Cooper (Dothan, Ala.) came around to score on a double from Stewart to extend the lead to 9-1.

After retiring the side in order in the top of the fourth, Team USA came back to the plate needing just two runs to capture the win. The U.S. did just that, as Arioto and Bianka Bell (Tampa, Fla.) scored on a single from Cooper to give the Eagles the 11-1 (four inning) victory.

Slow Pitch Showdown

USA 25, USA Futures 24

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The USA Softball Slow Pitch National Team utilized four home runs in the bottom of the seventh to keep bragging rights over the USA Futures as they earned the walk-off 25-24 win.

The USA Futures struck first in the top of the first inning before the Slow Pitch National Team took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the frame. A string of singles in the top of the second inning gave the USA Futures a 4-2 lead, 4-2 before a pair of two-run home runs by the Slow Pitch National Team regained the lead for the Slow Pitch National Team, 6-4.

Kyle Pearson (Stonewall, La.) hit a solo shot in the top of the third to bring the game within one, but a four-run third inning by the Slow Pitch National Team extended their lead to 10-5. Both teams exploded offensively as the USA Futures plated five runs and the Slow Pitch National Team put up six runs in the fourth inning.

Both sides were held scoreless in the fifth, with the Slow Pitch National Team entering the sixth with a 16-10 lead. The USA Futures would respond, capitalizing on six home runs to go up 22-16. The Slow Pitch National Team would get within two on a home run from Steve Whaley (Richardson, Texas) and an RBI single from Kevin Kennington (Lake City, Fla.).

Jeremy Yates (Lake City, Fla.) hit a two-run shot in the top of the seventh inning to extend the USA Futures lead to 24-20. Trailing by four, the Slow Pitch National Team put up five runs with the help of four long balls to earn the 25-24 win.

The USA Softball Slow Pitch National Team and the USA Softball Men’s Futures Slow Pitch National Team return for the final day of Border Battle VIII action tomorrow, including the highly-anticipated Border Battle matchup between the USA Softball Slow Pitch National Team and Team Canada.

Notable July 5 performances

Australia 7, Netherlands 2

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Erin Thras had two extra base hits, sparking Australia to a 7-2 victory over the Netherlands in their opening game of the World Cup of Softball XI. Vanessa Stokes put together a nice outing in the circle for the Aussies, issuing just one hit and two walks while striking out three during her four innings of work. Offensively, Australia’s Stacey Porter, Rachel Lack and Thras combined for six hits and four RBI.

The game was never in doubt after the second, as Australia scored one run on a groundout by Stacey McManus. Australia also pushed one run across in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings. Two runs in the top of the sixth helped the Netherlands close its deficit to 4-2. An RBI triple by Soclania Van Gurp and an RBI single by Jessie Van Aalst put the Netherlands within two of Australia, but Australia quickly matched Netherlands’ strong inning with a three-run inning of its own in the sixth. Australia scored on an RBI single by Chelsea Forkin and a two-run home run by Thras.

Puerto Rico 3, Venezuela 2

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Puerto Rico outlasted Venezuela on Tuesday after five lead changes to earn the 3-2 win thanks to a strong sixth inning. Puerto Rico’s Meghan King was strong in the circle, stifling Venezuela’s offense and allowing just two hits while striking out four batters in her three innings of work.

In the bottom of the first, Venezuela grabbed the early lead, 1-0. Venezuela’s threat began with a single by Maria Soto. A single by Yuruby Alicart then moved Maria Soto from first to third before a ground ball plated the run. Puerto Rico tied the game in the top of the second on an RBI single from Luz Feliciano.

The game stayed tied at 1-1 until the fifth inning, when Venezuela’s Yaicey Sojo hit a solo home run to give Venezuela a 2-1 lead. A key sixth-inning rally gave Puerto Rico the lead for good, as Karla Claudio hit an RBI single. Elicia D’Orazio would also come around to score on a defensive miscue to give Puerto Rico the eventual 3-2 win.

Great tickets are still available for the Border Battle VIII and World Cup of Softball XI, and can be purchased outside the ASA Hall of Fame Complex at the Ticket Booth. For complete coverage of Border Battle VIII and the World Cup of Softball XI including bios, rosters, live stats, streaming and results log on to ASAUSASoftball.com.

About ASA/USA Softball
Founded in 1933, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball is the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, ASA/USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 70 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 165,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2.2 million. ASA/USA is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles as well as claimed eight World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about ASA/USA Softball, please visit http://www.asausasoftball.com/.

About the World Baseball Softball Confederation

Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland — the Olympic Capital — the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the world governing body for baseball and softball. WBSC has 213 National Federation and Associate Members in 142 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania, which represent a united baseball/softball sports movement that encompasses over 65 million athletes and attracts approximately 150 million fans to stadiums worldwide annually.

The WBSC also governs all international competitions involving official National Teams. The WBSC oversees the Softball World Championships (Men, Women, U-19 Men, and U-19 Women), Premier12, World Baseball Classic, and Baseball World Cups (U-12, U-15, U-18, U-23 and Women’s).

For further information, please go to www.WBSC.org or follow the WBSC on Twitter at @WBSC.