BEIJING, China – The USA Softball Women’s National Team rolled to a 15-0 shutout victory over New Zealand at the XI ISF Women’s World Championships Wednesday to move to 5-0 in pool play. The win secures the U.S., which has allowed only one run in 28 innings, a spot in the playoff rounds.
The U.S. wasted no time getting on base with the top of the lineup drawing three consecutive walks to load the bases. An error at first base plated Caitlin Lowe, giving the U.S. its first run of the game. Stacey Nuveman belted a single to right center to put up two more runs. The Red, White and Blue capitalized on two more New Zealand errors to put runners on and push its lead to 4-0 after the first inning.
Monica Abbott started in the circle for the U.S. and allowed a leadoff single to right center, but two strikeouts and a perfect strike by Nuveman to second on an attempted steal kept New Zealand off the board.
Natasha Watley led off for the team in the second inning, reaching on an error by the pitcher. Watley, a perfect 2-for-2 in stolen bases entering this game, encountered her first caught stealing when she was called out at second. With Crystl Bustos on first after hitting a single to left field, Nuveman belted a homerun over the center field fence to give her team a 6-0 cushion.
With two outs and two runners on, the U.S. offense exploded for seven runs in the third inning, the most by the offense in any inning of this championship. With Lovie Jung and Laura Berg in scoring position after turning in singles, Jessica Mendoza singled to left field for two runs. Bustos drove in Mendoza with her second double of the tournament before Nuveman, who finished the game with six RBIs off three hits, drove her second home run over the left center field fence to clear the bases and give the team an 11-0 lead. Jung drove in the 12th run of the game, scoring Andrea Duran who reached on base with a single. After drawing a walk, Jennie Finch scored the final run of the inning when Berg reached on an error by the pitcher.
In the fourth, Duran drove in her second run of the tournament with a single down the right field line that scored Mendoza, who drew a walk. Needing only one run to end the game due to the run rule, Vicky Galindo drew a bases-loaded walk to score Jenny Topping after she reached on a single earlier in the inning.
Abbott earned her first career win in a World Championship, facing 15 batters and allowing three hits with five strikeouts.
The team will face host China on Friday, September 1.