Category Archives: USA National Teams

7-21-2017 Team USA Wins Two in Tuscaloosa

USA Softball Women’s National Team earns 9-1, 7-0 run-rule victories at Tuscaloosa doubleheader

July 20, 2017, 11:30 p.m. (ET)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — In front of approximately 2,000 fans at Rhoads Stadium sporting their Red, White and Blue, the USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) claimed back-to-back victories over the Alabama All-Stars in their doubleheader Thursday, USA Softball announced.

“Tonight was a real good indication of how good our pitching staff can be,” said Head Coach Ken Eriksen. “They’re very efficient, effective and economical, and our catchers did a great job with controlling that tempo and giving our team a chance to score first by keeping the Alabama All-Stars at zero. We also had some timely hitting and everybody looked comfortable at the plate.”

Game One: USA 9, Alabama All-Stars 1 (six innings)

Box Score

It didn’t take long for the Red, White and Blue to get on the board Thursday evening after jumping out to an early 4-0 lead in the first inning. Leading off the bottom of the first frame with a single was Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) who stole second and quickly advanced to third on a single by Michelle Moutlrie (Jacksonville, Fla.). An RBI single by Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) brought McCleney home to score Team USA’s first run of the night.  Following a few errors by the Alabama All-Star defense and a fly out to center field, Moultrie and Chidester extended the lead, 3-0. Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.) capped off the inning and added to the lead with a solo shot sent over the left field fence.

A home run by Moultrie in the bottom of the second stretched the lead to 5-0 before the Alabama All-Stars answered back with a run of their own in the top half of the third inning. Back-to-back singles by Kasey Cooper (Dothan, Ala.) and Janie Takeda (Placentia, Calif.) led off the bottom of the third before McCleney grounded into a fielder’s choice to put runners on the corners for Team USA. Jazmyn Jackson (San Jose, Calif.) entered as a pinch runner for Cooper and was then brought home on a groundout by Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.).

Ahead 6-1, the U.S. wrapped up their run-rule victory in the bottom of the sixth on a three-run blast from Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.), handing the USA Softball WNT a 9-1 win over the Alabama All-Stars.

Moultrie went 3-for-3 at the plate, while Arioto recorded four RBI. Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif.) got the win in the circle for Team USA, pitching three and two-third innings, allowing just one run on four hits. Delanie Gourley (Lakeside, Calif.) pitched the fourth inning, striking out one with no hits while Barnhill picked up three strikeouts in her one and one-third innings pitched.

Game Two: USA 7, Alabama All-Stars 0 (five innings)

Box Score

The U.S. continued their momentum into Game Two of the doubleheader exhibition series, capitalizing on a five-run second inning to take a sizeable lead early on and earn the 7-0 shutout win over the Alabama All-Stars.

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the second when the U.S. once again found their rhythm. A pair of walks issued to Hannah Flippen (San Diego, Calif.) and Aubree Munro (Brea, Calif.) and a single by Jenna Lilley (North Canton, Ohio) loaded the bases for the Red, White and Blue. Morgan Zerkle (Milton, W. Va.) then drew a walk to plate Flippen before a grand slam by Aguilar stretched the score to a comfortable 5-0 lead.

The score remained 5-0 until the bottom of the fourth when Paige Halstead (Alta Loma, Calif.) hit a two-out single before coming around to score off a double by Cooper. With the 6-0 advantage, Lilley sealed the victory in the bottom of the sixth frame with a solo shot to right field to finish the 7-0 (five innings) shutout.

Both Cooper and Lilley went 2-for-3 at the plate, while Aguilar posted four RBI. Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif.) got the win in the circle for Team USA, pitching four scoreless innings with six strikeouts and one hit allowed, while Danielle O’Toole (Upland, Calif.) induced three groundouts in her one inning pitched.

The USA Softball WNT is back in action Saturday, July 22 to play an exhibition doubleheader at Jane B. Moore Field against a team comprised of additional Alabama All-Stars. The Red, White and Blue continue their preparation for the Pan American Championship, which will be held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic August 4-13, where the top five finishing countries will qualify for the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s World Championship and the 2019 Pan American Games.

Fans can follow along with the National Team program by visiting USASoftball.com.

7-11-2017 USA Roster for Pan Am Qualifier

2017 USA Softball Women’s National Team Pan American Games/World Championship Qualifier roster named

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – The final 15-player roster for the 2017 USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) Pan American Championship was announced today by USA Softball. Athletes selected will compete in the Pan American Championship August 4-13 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in which the top five finishing countries will qualify for the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s World Championship and the 2019 Pan American Games.

 

While the complete game schedule for the Pan American Championship will be announced at a later date, competing countries include: Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Cuba, Curacao, El Salvador, Guatemala, Turks and Caicos Islands, British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Pero, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Venezuela.  The United States will need to finish in the top five in order to qualify for both the 2018 WBSC Women’s World Championship, which will be held in Chiba, Japan, and the 2019 Pan American Games, which will be held in Lima, Peru.

 

2017 Pan American Championship Roster


Ali Aguilar
Washington – 2017
Infield

Valerie Arioto
California – 2012
Infield

Kelly Barnhill
Florida – Jr.
Pitcher

Ally Carda
UCLA – 2015
Pitcher/Infield

Amanda Chidester
Michigan – 2012
Catcher

Hannah Flippen
Utah – 2017
Infield

Jazmyn Jackson
California – Sr.
Outfield

Haylie McCleney
Alabama – 2016
Outfield

Jessica Moore
Oregon – 2013
Pitcher

Michelle Moultrie
Florida – 2012
Outfield

Aubree Munro
Florida – 2016
Catcher

Danielle O’Toole
Arizona – 2017
Pitcher

Delaney Spaulding
UCLA – 2017
Infield

Kelsey Stewart
Florida – 2016
IF/OF

Janie Takeda
Oregon – 2015
Outfield

Alternates


Kasey Cooper
Auburn – 2017
Infield

Delanie Gourley
Florida – 2017
Pitcher

Paige Halstead
UCLA – Jr.
Catcher

Jenna Lilley
Oregon – Sr.
Infield

Morgan Zerkle
Marshall – 2017
Outfield

Coaching Staff


Ken Eriksen
Head Coach

Howard Dobson
Assistant Coach

Tairia Flowers
Assistant Coach

John Rittman
Assistant Coach

Heather Tarr
Assistant Coach

 Date Event Location Tickets   Media
June 12-18 Training Camp Irvine, Calif. N/A Credential request
June 13  Exhibition Games Irvine, Calif./Deanna Manning Stadium Click here  Credential request
June 14  Youth Clinic Irvine, Calif./Deanna Manning Stadium Click here 
June 15  Exhibition Games Irvine, Calif./Deanna Manning Stadium Click here  Credential request
June 23-25 USA vs. Japan All-Star Series Sendai/Yokohama, Japan N/A Live Stats
July 5-9  World Cup of Softball XII Oklahoma City, Okla.  Click here  Credential request 
July 12-14 Training Camp Sacramento, Calif. N/A Credential request
July 12  VIP Meet & Greet Sacramento, Calif. Click here  
July 13  Youth Clinic Sacramento, Calif. Click here  
July 13  Exhibition Games  Sacramento, Calif./Raley Field  Click here  Credential request 
July 19-23 Training Camp Tuscaloosa/Auburn, Ala. N/A Credential request
July 20 Exhibition Games Tuscaloosa, Ala./Rhoads Stadium  Click here Credential request  
July 22  Exhibition Games Auburn, Ala./Jane B. Moore Field  Click here  Credential request  
August 4-13 Pan Am/World Qualifier Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic N/A Live Stats
August 25-27 Japan Cup Takasaki City, Japan N/A Live Stats

                              *Additional events may be added. Schedule is subject to change*

7-9-2017 Japan Edges USA 2-1 in World Cup

 

Team USA drops 2-1 decision to Japan in Championship Game at World Cup of Softball XII; USA Softball JWNT defeat Puerto Rico 7-0 (five innings) to finish in 5th place

 

OKLAHOMA CITY –   Despite outhitting their opponents in the Championship finale at the World Cup of Softball XII, the USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) dropped a 2-1 decision to Japan to finish as runner-up.  USA’s Aubree Munro (Brea, Calif.) recorded Team USA’s lone RBI of the game after singling in the bottom of the fourth to plate Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.).  Also seeing action on Championship Sunday at the World Cup of Softball was the USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team (JWNT), who shutout Puerto Rico in a 7-0 (five innings) run rule to finish in fifth place as the team preps for the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Junior Women’s World Championship.

 

“I’m happy with where we’re at right now,” said Head Coach Ken Eriksen.  “We’ve got some players who now have five or six years of experience under their belt.  Our approaches at the plate are pretty darn good, it was just one of those days where their bloop fell in today and ours didn’t.  The way we’re playing defensively and offensively is pretty flawless.”

 

Click here for box scores and final standings for all World Cup of Softball XII games

 

USA 1, Japan 2

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It was a typical high-level, competitive match between the top two ranked teams in the world in the World Cup of Softball XII Championship Game, and despite outhitting Japan, the USA Softball WNT finished as runner-up after a 2-1 loss.  The Eagles looked to create a seventh-inning rally, but ultimately fell one run short, finishing the annual event with a 7-1 record.

 

Japan struck first in the top of the third inning to take a 2-0 lead.  Eri Yamada led off with a single but USA’s Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) got Yamada out at second on a groundball from Mana Atsumi.  A single to Michelle Moultrie in right field advanced Atsumi to third to put runners on the corners before a walk to Yu Yamamoto loaded the bases.  With just one out, Minami Sato singled to centerfield to push across two Japan runs.

 

The U.S. struck back in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to just one run.  A leadoff walk to Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) followed by a single to right field by Moultrie put two on quickly.  A groundout put runners on the corners for Team USA to bring Munro to the plate, who on a 1-1 pitch drove a ball up the middle to bring Arioto home and make it a 2-1 ballgame.  Janie Takeda (Placentia, Calif.) followed with another single to prompt a pitching change for Japan as Yukiko Ueno entered for Yamato Fugita.  Ueno was able to retire the next two batters to prevent the U.S. from adding further damage.

 

Both sides would be kept silent through the next few innings of play to bring Team USA back to the plate for their final at-bat trailing by one.  Ueno was able to get two quick outs, but the U.S. proved to be resilient as Stewart doubled on a hard hit ball to the left center gap.  With a runner in scoring position, Team USA looked to keep the game going, but a strikeout ended the game with the U.S. falling to Japan 2-1.

 

Up next for the USA Softball WNT is a doubleheader exhibition tour stop in Sacramento, Calif. July 12-13.  The team will take a brief break before heading to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for the Pan American Games/World Championship Qualifier August 4-13.  The team will conclude their 2017 season in Takasaki City, Japan for the 2017 Japan Cup August 25-27.

 

USA JWNT 7, Puerto Rico 0 (five innings)

Click here for a box score

 

Just three days after dropping an opening-game 3-1 decision to Puerto Rico, the USA Softball JWNT found their rhythm as the team walked away with the 7-0 (five innings) shutout victory.  The JWNT pushed across two runs in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back as Holly Azevedo (San Jose, Calif.) gave up just three hits in a strong performance in the circle for the Red, White and Blue. 

 

Azevedo retired her first three batters faced with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout.  Hannah Adams then led off the U.S. at-bat with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a grounder from Sis Bates (Ceres, Calif.).  Bubba Nickles (Merced, Calif.) demonstrated her veteran experience in the bottom of the first inning for the JWNT as she blasted a home run over the centerfield fence to give the U.S. the early 2-0 edge.

 

Another one, two, three inning for Azevedo brought the potent U.S. lineup back to the plate, and the team delivered with another five runs.  Dejah Mulipola (Garden Grove, Calif.) got the offense rolling with a leadoff single but was thrown out advancing to second on a groundball from Alyssa Rivera (Eagle Lake, Fla.)  Rivera would then move to second on a single from Elissa Brown (Eclectic, Ala.) and both moved up a base on an error by the Puerto Rico defense.  With the bases loaded, Bates singled on a hard hit ground ball back up the middle to plate two.  Nickles came up big again in her next at-bat, doubling on a line drive to left field to bring Adams and Bates home and make it 6-0, USA.  The final run of the inning would come after Lou Allan (Hesperia, Calif.) brought Nickles home on a ground ball to left field.

 

Puerto Rico would manage to get three base runners on through the remaining three innings of play, but were unable to figure out Azevedo in the circle as the JWNT claimed the run-rule victory to finish the World Cup of Softball XII with a 4-4 record. 

 

Azevedo earned the win for the JWNT, going the full five innings with four strikeouts and three hits allowed.  At the plate, Nickles drove in four of the U.S. runs while Bates picked up two RBI and Allan collected one RBI.

 

“The team is starting to get used to each other and starting to know each other’s abilities,“ said Head Coach Laura Berg.  “Today it showed.  They were flawless on defense.  I’m so proud of this team.  They played against teams who have ten-plus years of international experience and they did not back down.  They went toe-to-toe with them and they’re just going to continue to get better.”

 

Up next, the USA Softball JWNT will now set its sights on the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Junior Women’s World Championship in Clearwater, Fla. July 24-30.  After that, they will regroup in Cincinnati, Ohio where they will compete at the Major League Baseball (MLB) RBI World Series.

 

Canada 3, Australia 0

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Canada shutout Australia 3-0 in the Bronze Medal Game at the World Cup of Softball, capitalizing on a three-run first inning.  Two Canadian pitchers combined for the win as Karissa Hovinga pitched the first six and one-third innings with six strikeouts and five hits allowed.  Sara Plourde earned the save after entering in the bottom of the seventh to keep the Australian offense from rallying.

 

Philippines 8, Mexico 7 (eight innings)

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The Philippines earned a walk-off, extra-inning thriller over Mexico after trailing through the first six innings of play. Down 6-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Philippines drove in four runs to push the game into extra innings.  Mexico would score the international tie-break runner to take a one-run lead in the top of the eight, but a single from Francesca Altomonte in the bottom of the eighth drove in two runs to give Philippines the 8-7 win.

 

7-9-2017 Team USA Advances to Championship

Team USA earns No. 1 seed to setup rematch against Japan in World Cup of Softball Championship Game; USA JWNT to take on Puerto Rico after earning No. 5 overall seed

 

OKLAHOMA CITY –  The field has been set for Championship Sunday at the World Cup of Softball XII in Oklahoma City after the final day of round-robin action came to a conclusion.  The USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) claimed two victories on the day to earn the No. 1 overall seed while the USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team laid stake on the No. 5 seed after suffering a 5-0 loss to No. 2 seed Japan.

 

“This team is pretty focused on the task at hand,” said Head Coach Ken Eriksen.  “We’re getting two strike or two out hits which shows we aren’t giving up.  It’s like the team is putting their foot in the door and not letting anyone close it until they say it’s going to close.”

 

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

 

Championship Sunday Schedule

12 p.m. CT – USA vs Japan – OGE Energy Field – ESPN                                                                                                                             

12 p.m. CT – Philippines vs Mexico – INTEGRIS Field

2:30 p.m. CT – Canada vs Australia – OGE Energy Field

2:30 p.m. CT – USA JWNT vs Puerto Rico – INTEGRIS Field

 

USA 8, Puerto Rico 2

Click here for a box score

 

It was a perfect day at the plate for Team USA’s Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) as the speedy lefty drove in four runs in a 4-for-4 outing in the batter’s box.  Despite the U.S. bats getting off to a slow start, the team exploded for five runs in the bottom of the sixth in what would become an 8-2 win over Puerto Rico in the 10th Annual PINK Game.  Three U.S. pitchers combined for the win while McCleney, Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) and Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) drove in all of the runs for the Red, White and Blue.

 

Puerto Rico jumped to an early 1-0 lead over the U.S. in the top of the first.  A one out single put Elicia D’Orazio on base and she reached second after beating the throw when Karla Claudio grounded into a fielder’s choice. After stealing third, D’Orazio crossed home after a single to center field by Morganne Flores. This prompted a pitching change for the U.S. as Kelly Barnhill (Marietta, Ga.) entered in relief for starter Delanie Gourley (Lakeside, Calif.).  After a groundout to first baseman Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif.) and a pick off by Aubree Munro (Brea, Calif.), the U.S. looked to strike back.

 

Despite the U.S. loading the bases after McCleney walked, Hannah Flippen (Bonita, Calif.) was hit by pitch and Ali Aguilar walked, the Red, White and Blue were unable to score after a pair of strikeouts and a caught line drive.  Barnhill retired Puerto Rico in order in the top of the second to bring the U.S. back to the plate.  Team USA took the lead in the bottom of the second after Kasey Cooper (Dothan, Ala.) was issued a leadoff walk and was able to score on a misplayed ball at the plate after Morgan Zerkle (Milton, W.Va.) doubled.  McCleney then singled on a line drive to left field to bring Zerkle home and give the U.S. the 2-1 edge.

 

Both sides were kept from scoring until the top of the fourth when Puerto Rico tied up the game with a leadoff solo home run from Claudio.  The score stood pat until the bottom of the fifth when another RBI single from McCleney brought Delaney Spaulding (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.)  home after she had reached on a single and moved into scoring position on a walk to Zerkle making it a 3-2 U.S. lead.  

 

The floodgates would open in the bottom of the sixth as the U.S. bats came alive.  Singles from Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.), Janie Takeda (Placentia, Calif.) and Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) loaded the bases for Arioto, who hit a sac fly to right field.  Spaulding was then hit by a pitch to load the bases again and Stewart drove a ball to left field to bring the speedy Takeda and Moultrie home for the fifth and sixth runs of the game for Team USA.  Another McCleney RBI single drove in another two runs to give the U.S. the 8-2 edge. 

 

Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif.), who had entered in relief in the top of the fifth, issued two looking strikeouts and a popout to Spaulding at short to earn the win for the Red, White and Blue.  Moore finished with two strikeouts in the win, allowing just one hit in her two and one-third innings of work.  Gourley issued two hits and one run while Barnhill fanned five with three hits and one run allowed in four and one-third innings.

 

With the win over Puerto Rico, Team USA earned the No. 1 overall seed at the World Cup of Softball and are set for a rematch against No. 2 seed Japan.  The rivalry will be reignited tomorrow at 12 p.m. CT live on ESPN. 

 

USA JWNT 0, Japan 5

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The USA Softball JWNT suffered a 5-0 loss to Japan in their final round-robin contest at the World Cup of Softball XII.  It marked the first time the JWNT did not score a run against their opponents as the offense was limited to just two hits by an experienced Japanese pitching staff.

 

Kathryn Sandercock (McLean, Va.) and the JWNT defense came out strong in the top of the first inning, retiring Japan in order with a pair of groundouts and a fly out to centerfield.  Japan returned the favor in the bottom of the frame before plating a run in the top of the second off an error.  The U.S. would put two runners on base in the bottom of the third after Elissa Brown (Eclectic, Ala.) singled with one out and Hannah Adams (Hoschton, Ga.) was hit by a pitch, but the JWNT was unable to capitalize and the score stood put at 1-0, Japan. 

 

A run in the top of the fourth had the U.S. down by two runs and both sides were silenced at the plate until Japan added another three to their lead.  That score would stand, with the JWNT suffering the 5-0 loss. 

 

Sandercock went the full seven innings for the JWNT, striking out two with one walk and seven hits.  Brown and Baylee Klingler (Houston, Texas) recorded the two hits for the JWNT.

 

The USA JWNT earned the No. 5 overall seed at the World Cup of Softball after finishing round-robin play with a 3-4 record. 

 

USA 10, Australia 1

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Mother nature made her presence known at the World Cup of Softball XII, but despite the wind and rain, the U.S. cruised to a 10-1 win over Australia.

 

The Eagles wasted no time at the plate, pushing across two runs in the top of the first before a weather delay halted play.  Aguilar walked to start off the game, but a pair of strikeouts kept her at first.  She would not stay there long, as Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) doubled on a line drive to the outfield to give Aguilar enough time to leg it out to home.  Arioto then hit a hard ground ball to left field to plate Spaulding, who entered as a courtesy runner for Chidester, giving the U.S. the 2-0 edge.  U.S. starter Carda was able to issue a strikeout in her first batter faced before inclement weather arrived and caused a one hour and twenty  minute weather delay.

 

Once action resumed, Leigh Godfrey singled and moved to second on a walk to Taylah Tsitsikronis.  With two outs, Clare Warwick singled to right field and Moultrie fired the ball to Chidester behind the dish to prevent the run from scoring.  Spaulding added to Team USA’s lead in the top of the second with an RBI single with two outs.  Jazmyn Jackson (San Jose, Calif.) singled, moved to second on a single from Stewart and used her speed to score from second after Spaulding drove the ball up the middle. 

 

A wild pitch allowed the fourth U.S. run of the game to score in the top of the fifth inning.  Spaulding led off the inning with a double, a walk to Chidester put two on and a sac bunt from Arioto moved both runners into scoring position.  The bases would become loaded with a walk to Moultrie and a wild pitch got past the Aussie catcher to score run number four for the U.S.

 

Australia singled in the bottom of the fifth which prompted a pitching change for Team USA as Danielle O’Toole (Upland, Calif.) entered in relief for Carda.  A sac bunt, groundout and strikeout from O’Toole kept Australia off the scoreboard. 

 

Three more runs in the top of the sixth got the U.S. a seven-run edge over Australia.  A double from Jackson put the leadoff runner on and she moved to third on a sac bunt from Aguilar.  Stewart drove a ground ball up the middle to plate Jackson.  Another single from Spaulding put two on for Chidester, who also drove a ground ball to center to drive in another two runs.

 

Trailing by seven, Stacey Porter kept the game from ending in a run-rule with a first pitch home run to put the Aussies on the board.  The U.S. tacked on three more runs in the top of the seventh when Spaulding sent a three-run shot over the center field fence, and O’Toole was able to record three strikeouts to keep the U.S. undefeated in round-robin play.

 

“I was really happy with the way we came out on top in the first inning against Australia tonight,” said Head Coach Ken Eriksen.  “It was a grind getting through pool play because these teams continue to get better.  We know that we have a formidable opponent tomorrow.”

 

Tickets for Championship Sunday at the World Cup of Softball XII can be purchased outside the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex at the Ticket Booth. For complete coverage of the World Cup of Softball XII including bios, rosters, live stats, streaming and results log on to USASoftball.com.

 

7-7-2017 USA O’Toole One-hits Japan

 

Danielle O’Toole one-hits Japan as Team USA remains undefeated at World Cup of Softball XII; USA JWNT move to 3-3 after splitting the day, including a run-rule victory

 

OKLAHOMA CITY –  The USA Softball Women’s National Team pitching staff continued to shine at the World Cup of Softball XII as the U.S. allowed just one run to score through two contests.  With the WNT earning an 8-1 (five innings) win over the USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team (JWNT), the WNT also shutout No. 1 Japan 5-0 after Danielle O’Toole (Upland, Calif.) pitched a one-hitter.  The JWNT bats came alive in their first contest of the day as the team picked up their first run-rule victory of the World Cup of Softball XII after routing Philippines 14-7 (five innings) before dropping the 8-1 (five innings) decision to the WNT.

 

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

 

USA JWNT 14, Philippines 7 (five innings)

Click here for a box score

 

Sis Bates (Ceres, Calif.) was lights out at the plate in a 3-for-4 showing against Philippines in the USA Softball JWNT Day Three opener.  The second baseman picked up five of the team’s 13 RBI as the U.S. soared to a 14-7 (five innings) win over Philippines. 

 

Both sides started the game with two runs each in the first inning.  A leadoff walk from U.S. starter Lexi Kilfoyl (Land O’Lakes, Fla.) and back-to-back singles quickly loaded the bases for Philippines.  The U.S. defense had a couple rocky plays which resulted in two Philippines runs.  A misplayed groundball single to left field resulted in the first run of the game before an error on a throw to home resulted in run number two.  The U.S. was able to get out of the jam, however, quickly retiring the next batter for the third out.  Bates got the U.S. rally going in the bottom of the first, doubling with one out and scoring on a home run from Baylee Klingler (Houston, Texas). 

 

Philippines would respond with a three-run home run in the top of the second inning to take the lead, 5-2.  With the U.S. trailing by three, Jessica Harper (Stevenson Ranch, Calif.) sent the ball out of the park on an 0-1 pitch, cutting that lead to just two runs.  Two batters later, Elissa Brown (Eclectic, Ala.) doubled to plate Alyssa Rivera (Eagle Lake, Fla.) and cut the lead to one run.  Two batters later, Bates hit the third double of the inning to bring Brown and Hannah Adams (Hoschton, Ga.) home and take the one-run lead.

 

Giselle Juarez (Glendale, Ariz.), who entered in relief for Kilfoyl in the second inning, was able to keep Philippines from scoring in the top of the third to bring the hot-hitting JWNT back to the plate.   With one out, a walk to Harper and back-to-back singles from Mary Iakopo (Carson, Calif.) and Rivera loaded the bases for the Red, White and Blue.  Brown and Adams continued the string of hits with two more singles, scoring Harper and Sydney Sherrill (Moore, Okla.), who entered to pinch run for Iakopo.  An illegal pitch allowed another U.S. runner to cross the plate before a groundout from Bates allowed the speedy Brown to score.  Bubba Nickles (Merced, Calif.) then cleared the bases with a home run, the third of the game for the U.S., to push the U.S. lead to 12-5. 

 

Philippines scored their final two runs of the game in the top of the fourth inning, and from there on out it was USA-controlled game.  Sis Bates picked up two more RBI in the bottom of the fourth with a single to right field.  That would seal the fate for Philippines, who led off with a single before Juarez and the U.S. defense retired the next three with a strikeout and pair of groundouts. 

 

In addition to Bates’ five RBI, Nickles, Klinger and Brown each recorded two RBI.  In the circle, Juarez earned the win after pitching the final three and two-third innings with two strikeouts and two unearned runs.  Kilfoyl struck out one batter, walked one and allowed four earned runs in her one and one-third innings of work. 

 

USA 8, USA JWNT 1 (five innings)

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It was an all Stars and Stripes field as the USA JWNT and Team USA faced off in a U.S. vs U.S. showdown.  While the JWNT took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, it would be the WNT who walked away with the 8-1 (five innings) win over their junior counterparts.

 

Striking first after Nickles and Klingler hit back-to-back singles, Alissa Dalton (Cypress, Texas) was hit by a pitch from WNT starter Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif.) to load the bases.  Moore allowed Nickles to score from third on a wild pitch to give the JWNT a one-run advantage. JWNT starter Natalie Lugo (West Covina, Calif.) issued a leadoff walk to Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.), but a strikeout and two fly outs kept the WNT off the board. 

 

The WNT would not be scoreless for long, however, as they used timely hitting to plate three runs in the bottom of the second.  Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) started the charge with a leadoff single, moved to second on a one out hit-batter in Delaney Spaulding (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) and came around to score on a double from Paige Halstead (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.).  One batter later, Morgan Zerkle (Milton, W.Va.) singled to load the bases and a sac fly from McCleney brought Spaulding home.  A single from Jazmyn Jackson (San Jose, Calif.) brought in the third run of the inning for the WNT to give them the 3-1 edge. 

 

The JWNT would get two leadoff runners on in the top of the third after Bates reached on an error and Nickles singled, but the WNT defense recorded a double play.  Despite a walk to Dalton, a groundout kept the JWNT from capitalizing.  Spaulding recorded an RBI in the bottom of the third, plating Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) who had reached earlier in the inning on a walk.   The JWNT continued to keep putting runners on base in the top of the fourth after Dejah Mulipola (Garden Grove, Calif.) reached on an error by the WNT defense, but a double play and popup resulted in a three-up, three-down outing.

 

Holding on to the 4-1 lead, the WNT drove in four more runs in the bottom of the fourth.  McCleney, Jackson and Moultrie all reached safely to bring Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) to the plate.  With the bases loaded, Chidester doubled to bring in all three before scoring herself on an error by the JWNT defense.

 

Down to their final at-bat, the JWNT was retired in order by Kelly Barnhill (Marietta, Ga.), who entered in relief for Moore in the top of the fifth.

 

For the JWNT, Nickles had a 2-for-3 performance at the plate with one run scored.  Lugo suffered the loss, allowing three runs while fanning one WNT batter in her two innings of work.  For the rest of the JWNT pitching staff: Juarez walked two and allowed one run, Holly Azevedo (San Jose, Calif.) struck out one with two runs allowed and Kathryn Sandercock (McLean, Va.) struck out one.

 

“I’m really proud of the team for attacking right out of the gate that first inning,” said JWNT Head Coach Laura Berg.  “To be able to put up a run against such a strong team like the WNT is an impressive accomplishment and speaks to the strength of this team.  We gave them too many extra outs, and when you do that to the best team in the world that’s the end result you get.”

 

The USA JWNT will return for their final game of round-robin action against Japan tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. CT.

 

USA 5, Japan 0

Click here for a box score

 

Team USA’s O’Toole one-hit the top-ranked team in the world to lead the U.S. to a 5-0, shutout win over Japan.  It was an all-around great night for O’Toole, who in addition to a one-hitter performance in the circle also celebrated a birthday while representing the United States.  It was the first time since Japan was shutout in the World Cup of Softball since 2010 when the U.S. handed their rivals the same result.

 

Team USA wasted no time in taking the lead as Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.) blasted a ball over the left field fence to plate two after Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) had reached base one at-bat earlier after being hit by a pitch.  A walk to Arioto and a single from Moultrie put another two on for the U.S. that inning with two outs, but a strike out brought O’Toole to the circle.  O’Toole quickly made work of a strong Japan offense, getting a line out, strikeout and pop out for a one-two-three inning. 

 

The score would stand pat until the top of the third inning when Team USA added another two runs to their lead.  Stewart singled to start the inning, moved to second on a walk to Aguilar and made a sneaky steal to put runners on the corners.  A walk to Arioto loaded the bases before Spaulding singled with a line drive to left field to allow the speedy Stewart and Aguilar to cross home safely. 

 

Japan managed to push through their sole hit of the game in the bottom of the fifth after Minami Sato singled to lead off their at-bat.  O’Toole and the U.S. defense held strong, however, recording two line outs and another pop out to keep the runner at first. 

 

McCleney would add the fifth and final run of the game for the U.S. in the top of the sixth inning with a solo home run.  With O’Toole retiring Japan in order in the bottom of the sixth and the U.S. going down in order in the top of the seventh, Japan trailed by five in their final at-bat.  A leadoff walk to Yu Yamamoto put a runner on for Japan, but the U.S. defense continued their steadfast play to retire the next three batters with Team USA earning the 5-0 win.

 

O’Toole went the distance for the Red, White and Blue, pitching seven scoreless innings with only one hit allowed, three strikeouts, 14 first-pitch strikes and three walked batters.  At the plate, Arioto was walked three times, Aguilar went 1-for-2 with a home run, two walks and two RBI, while Spaulding also recorded two RBI.

 

“Our pitching staff today threw to the strike zone today,” said Head Coach Ken Eriksen.  “If you noticed over the past few years that we’ve played in this tournament we try to get our young athletes out there against these tough opponents to really break them in.  I was excited that she gave our bullpen a break and pitched the full seven innings, but you have to have the good defense behind you.  You can’t go anywhere at this level without a defense behind you.”

 

Up next for Team USA is a televised doubleheader.  First up, Team USA takes on Puerto Rico at 1 p.m. CT for the PINK Game on ESPN2 followed by a 7 p.m. CT ESPN2 matchup against Australia.

 

Notable July 7 performances

 

Canada bounces back with a pair of wins

 

Canada picked up two important wins today to move them to 3-3 at the World Cup of Softball XII.  With a 12-7 win over Mexico to start their day, they also earned a 6-3 victory over Puerto Rico. 

 

Tickets are still available for the World Cup of Softball XII, and can be purchased outside the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex at the Ticket Booth. For complete coverage of the World Cup of Softball XII including bios, rosters, live stats, streaming and results log on to USASoftball.com.