OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The 2011 USA Softball Women’s National Team exploded for 10 runs in the bottom of the fourth inning as the Americans routed Great Britain 10-0 on Sunday afternoon at the World Cup of Softball VI, held at the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City. With the win, Team USA advances to Monday night’s Championship Game against No. 2 Japan with the first pitch scheduled for 8 p.m. CT.
The Championship Game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 while ESPN3.com will provide live webcasting. Both the Third Place and Fifth Place games will be streamed live at http://asa.sportzcast.tv/. The Fifth Place Game will be played between the No. 6 Czech Republic and No. 5 Great Britain at 1 p.m. CT. No. 3 Australia and No. 4 Canada will battle it out for third place at 4 p.m. CT.
Ticket for World Cup of Softball championship action are still available at the gate with general admission tickets starting at $10. One ticket provides admission to all three finals.
On Sunday, the American’s outbreak came following a defensive web gem from Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) in the top of the fourth. A leadoff single from Laura Thompson threatened to break the scoreless tie but Team USA starter Whitney Canion (Aledo, Texas) recorded two straight strikeouts. Canion then got Jessica Legendre to hit a soft pop up to left that Moultrie charged and made a spectacular diving catch to end the inning.
“I think the cans of spinach came in the form of Michelle Moultrie’s catch out in left field,” said Stacy May-Johnson (Reno, Nev.). “She really got us going. That was huge, huge momentum. That was a big time catch. The outfield was playing back preventing the double, preventing that run from first scoring. She was way back there. She came in out of nowhere.”
Prior to the fourth inning, the two teams combined for two hits each. In the bottom of the fourth, the Red, White and Blue combined for the 10 runs on six hits and one Great Britain error. Of the 10 Team USA runs, seven of them were earned.
Kaitlin Cochran (Yorba Linda, Calif.) led off the inning with a walk and Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) singled to left before the pair advanced on a sacrifice bunt from Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.). Taylor Hoagland (Flower Mound,Texas) was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Christi Orgeron (New Orleans, La.), who delivered a bases clearing double to the gap in left center to push the Americans in front 3-0.
Pinch hitter Jenae Leles (Sacramento, Calif.) walked and Moultrie reached on an error that saw Orgeron score from second. Rhea Taylor (Buford, Ga.) then singled to once again load the bases for Team USA. May-Johnson then added her second hit of the day and biggest of the event with a grand slam to left field to put Team USA up 8-0. Arioto and Schutte then hit back-to-back two-out solo home runs to force the four-inning run-rule with the 10-0 victory.
"This team is just relentless and we refuse to be denied,'' Orgeron said. "I love the fire and the passion this team has. Everyone just got a little taste of what we can do, so I'm excited about the future.''
May-Johnson went 2-for-3 with one run scored and the four driven in on the grand slam. Arioto continued her impressive World Cup, finishing the game 2-for-3 with two runs scored. In five games played in Oklahoma City, Arioto has nine RBI, all of them coming with two outs.
Canion threw a near perfect complete game allowing just two hits, both to Thompson, who ended the game 2-for-2. The southpaw struck out six to move to 2-0 in her first career World Cup.
Other action from the World Cup of Softball VI:
Japan 13, Great Britain 6 (6)
Great Britain had its best offensive performance of the World Cup of Softball in a 13-6 in six inning loss to Japan. Great Britain battled back several times including staving off a run-rule victory by scoring two runs in the top of the fifth but a three-run Japanese sixth inning was too much to overcome.
Kasumi Hirahara earned the win for Japan, her first of the tournament, pitching a complete game and taking responsibility for all Great Britain runs.
Great Britain scored two in the first off a ground rule double by Leah English to score Karlene Cooper and Laura Thompson. Japan scored four of their own in the first which included a three-run homerun by Haruka Kageyama and another run scored off a fielder choice with Misa Okubo crossing home plate.
Two runs lit up the board for Japan in the second inning. Great Britain cut the lead to 6-3 in the third off a fielder’s choice but Japan took the run back plus one in the third scoring two off a double. Two more Japanese runs in the fourth put the game at risk of being called due to the run-ahead rule in the fifth. The Brits held off elimination in the fifth, scoring two runs off a homerun by Leah English and a single by Kristi Yoshizawa. The added another run in the sixth off a homerun by StacieTownsend.
With a 10-6 lead, Japan put away the three runs they needed to have the game called in six innings. Leadoff batter Yu Yamamoto homered with the next run being scored when Eri Yamada was walked. Kageyama scored on the walk. Another error by the pitcher, a wild pitch, allowed Japan to score ending the game in six innings.
Japan 9, Czech Republic 0 (5)
Japan improved to 4-1 at the World Cup of Softball with a four inning shutout of the Czech Republic. Yuki Hayashi, Yumi Iwabuchi, Kasumi Mizoe and Kazuki Watanabe each had two RBI in the 9-0 game, capitalizing on one of six Czech errors for another run.
In the first, Eri Yamada led off with a double down the left field line, then advanced when Rie Nagayoshi reached base on a fielding error. When Nagayoshi stole second, Yamada scored on a throwing error by Czech catcher Sabina Borecka. Japan struck again with a Watanabe two RBI double to left center field. She eventually scored on an Iwabuchi double to right center, making it a 4-0 game after an inning.
Japan was scoreless in the second but responded with four more runs in the third. Hayashi started the rally with a double to center field that scored Yu Yamamoto, who led off with a single to second base. Iwabuchi singled down the right field line then advanced on a fielding error, allowing Hayashi to score. With Vendula Draha in to pitch for Lucie Zappova, Mika Suzuki reached on a fielding error that advanced Iwabuchi to third. Mizoe tripled to left center to score to bring in Suziki and Iwabuchi.
With an 8-0 lead, Hayashi hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Yamamoto, who tripled to lead off the inning. Yamamoto finished the contest going 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBI.
Australia 8, Canada 3
After Saturday’s upset of the USA Softball Women’s National Team, Canada looked to qualify for its first appearance in a World Cup of Softball Championship Game Sunday but fell short with a 9-3 loss to Australia in Sunday’s night cap.
Behind a run in each of the first three innings, Canada held a 3-1 lead on Australia heading into the fourth, which proved to be the difference making inning for the Aussies. The first run came when Jade Wall reached on a muffed throw by second baseman Jenn Yee, allowing pinch runner Leigh Godfrey to score. After a Sorensen RBI single to third base, a Stacey McManus sacrifice fly out to right field scored Wall, giving Australia a 4-3 lead they would never relinquish.
Wall finished the evening 2-for-3 with one run scored and four RBI, making her a top performer for the Aussies. Chelsea Forkin went 3-for-3 with three runs scored.
Jocelyn McCallum, who pitched in relief of Karina Cannon, earned her first win of the tournament. In 3.1 innings in the circle, she allowed two hits while walking two. Aimee Murch got the save, pitching the final two batters.
-Courtesy of ASA/USA Softball