A combined no-hitter from the tandem of Megan Elliott and Donna Kerr highlighted the day as the United States concluded pool play Wednesday with an 11-0, five-inning victory over Italy at the Junior Women’s World Championships. With the win, the Red, White and Blue won its pool and now moves onto the medal round with a 7-0 record.
“I think we’ve been getting better all week,” said head coach Jay Miller. “We got great pitching tonight, and I was pleased to see us finish off a no-hitter. We had some opportunities for those earlier, but let them pass. Today, we finished one up. Megan threw well and Donna followed her up. It’s a great lead-in to medal round; we just have to keep it going.”
The USA got on the board in the second inning on a two-RBI single by Neena Bryant. Maggie Viefhaus led off with a walk and moved up on a single by Monica Harrison. Bryant drove both of them in with a single to right field on the first pitch she saw to make it 2-0.
In the third, the USA scored eight runs on seven hits, sending 12 batters to the plate. Viefhaus’ double down the line drove in Alissa Haber and then Harrison drove Ashley Hansen and Viefhaus in with an infield single to make it 5-0. Harrison scored on a wild pitch before Bree Ensminger drove in two runs with a single up the middle. Katie Schroeder then made it 10-0 with an inside-the-park home run to plate Ensminger.
In the fourth inning, a single to left field by GiOnna DiSalvatore scored Viefhaus to plate the 11th run of the game.
Elliott picked up her second win of the tournament, pitching three innings. She walked one and struck out five. Kerr pitched the final two innings, striking out five.
At the plate, the USA pounded out 13 hits, led by two hits each from Lastrapes, Harrison (2 RBI) and Bryant (2 RBI). Haber, Hansen, Viefhaus (RBI), Bianca Mejia, DiSalvatore (RBI), Ensminger (2 RBI) and Schroeder (2 RBI) each had one hit.
The USA will open up medal rounds against the No. 2 seed from the other pool, Venezuela, on Thursday at 5:30 pm local time/10:30 a.m. CT. Venezuela went 6-1 in pool play, losing only to Japan – the other pool’s top seed and the defending Junior World Champions.