OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Lovianne Jung's grand slam helped keep the 2006 USA Women’s National team undefeated at the II World Cup of Softball with a 6-1 win over Canada Friday night.
Jessica Mendoza collected the first hit of the game with a single in the first, but no runs would be pushed across the plate. Mendoza has been stellar at the plate so far at this World Cup hitting .500 (4-for-8) with two homeruns, six RBI and two runs scored.
Team USA took the 4-0 lead in the fourth on just two hits. Stacey Nuveman was hit by a pitch and Andrea Duran singled to right center to begin the rally. Kaila Holtz who started the game for Canada left the game with two runners on and was relieved by Robin Mackin. Mackin who walked her first batter to load the bases for Jung. With two outs on the board, Jung drove the ball deep over centerfield fence to give the U.S. a four run lead.
“I think I was a little nervous because I didn’t have a good first at bat,” said Jung. “I wasn’t aggressive at the plate, so my plan was to change that coming into my second at bat. It was a relief. I felt a lot of pressure with the bases loaded, two outs and no runs on the board. My first thought though wasn’t on a homerun. I wanted to get a base hit and have a good at bat.”
A sacrifice fly by Nuveman scored Natasha Watley in the fifth to give the U.S. a 5-0 lead. Team Canada avoided a shutout with their own run fifth inning off a solo shot to centerfield by Melanie Matthews.
Jamie Southern threw five complete innings, allowing five hits and one earned run while striking out six to earn the win.
Cat Osterman came in for relief in the sixth and allowed no hits, striking out four and walking two. The U.S. put up an insurance run in the seventh on a single by Crystl Bustos that pushed Caitlin Lowe, who singled to shortstop and stole second.
Team USA (2-0) will take on archrival Australia (2-0) Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Competition continues in the evening when the USA meets defending champion Japan in a rematch of the 2005 World Cup final at 9:00 p.m.