BEIJING, China — It took only five innings for the USA Softball Women’s National Team to record its 100th win in World Championship play as it defeated Great Britain, 7-0, to remain unbeaten.
The U.S. recorded its first win on February 14, 1965 in Melbourne, Australia with a 1-0 win over New Zealand, who happens to be the next opponent for the U.S. in this World Championship.
Jamie Southern, making her first career start in a World Championship, was dominate in the circle, fanning nine while allowing only one hit in five innings of work. She had a no-hitter through 4 2/3 innings before allowing a bloop single in the final inning.
Despite being beat 14-0 by the U.S. last month at the II World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City, Great Britain was not intimidated in the slightest. They held the U.S. hitless for the first two innings, only to see that change in the third.
Jenny Topping led off the inning with a stand up double to right center, and Tairia Flowers moved her to third with a single through the left side. Laura Berg then caused havoc with the Great Britain defense as she hit a hard grounder that was misplayed by the shortstop. She attempted to throw out Topping at the plate, but the throw failed to reach the catcher in time. Flowers continued to third and scored when the throw from the catcher went into left field, allowing Berg to advance to third.
With a 2-0 lead the U.S. continued its offensive attack as Caitlin Lowe lined a shot back up the middle that was too hot for pitcher Heather Brown to handle. With Lowe running on the next pitch, Natasha Watley laced a line drive that was knocked down by the second baseman to freeze Berg at third. A base running miscue by Lowe, who continued to third, ended in a run-down and resulted in the first out of the inning. Just when it appeared the momentum had been broken, Jessica Mendoza launched her second home run of the tournament to give the U.S. a 5-0 lead.
Looking to push the game a full seven innings, Great Britain called on Townsend to shut down the U.S. lineup, but a two out rally provided the Red, White and Blue with the runs it would need to end the game in five innings. Lowe and Watley both reached on singles, and Mendoza reached on a walk to load the bases for Crystl Bustos, who came through with a single to right field that scored the final two runs of the game.