CARACAS, Venezuela – A three-run double by Alissa Haber (Newark, Calif.) and an inside the park homerun by Jennie Finch (La Mirada, Calif.) paved the way for USA Softball to defeat the Czech Republic, 9-0, in the final pool play game of the ISF Women’s Softball World Championship in Caracas, Venezuela. The U.S. will open medal rounds tomorrow at 2:30 p.m., a game that will be webcast at http://www.vtv.gov.ve/envivo.html, with the opponent still yet to be determined but the likely opponent will be Canada.
Eileen Canney (Paradise Valley, Calif.) made her second World Championship start after making her first start against New Zealand. Canney allowed the first two batters to reach off back-to-back bunts. However a groundout and two strikeouts swinging kept the runners stranded.
Two extra base hits off the bats of Haber and Finch accounted for six RBI, a piece, in the first inning. With the bases loaded, Haber hit her seventh extra base hit of the tournament with a double to left field, to allow the runs to score. Scoring on the play were Natasha Watley (Irvine, Calif.) and Caitlin Lowe (Tustin, Calif.) who singled and Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.) who walked. With two runners on, Kaitlin Cochran (Yorba Linda, Calif.) on a walk and Ashley Charters (Beaverton, Ore.), Finch unleashed a ball that looked like it was over but hit the wall and fell into play. By the time the ball hit the ground, Finch was rounding third and heading home for three RBI and an in the park homerun.
Andrea Duran (Selma, Calif.) led off the third inning with a long ball to give USA Softball an 7-0 advantage. The team tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning for their 9-0 victory. Watley led off with a double and scored off a Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.) single. Mendoza would go on to score the final run of the game when Tammy Williams (Osceola, Mo.) singled to second base.
Canney finished the game with eight strikeouts while allowing two hits.
Haber is leading the team with a .750 batting average, 12 hits, six doubles and 16 RBI. With her 16 RBI and games still left on the schedule, she is now tied with Mendoza who hit 16 RBI in the 2006 World Championships.
The United States is 8-0 with Canada in World Championship play. Canada has only scored two runs on the U.S., one in 1986 and one in the inaugural meeting in 1970. The last loss against Canada was last year at the 2009 Pan American Qualifier, a 1-3 loss in pool play. The United States came back to defeat Canada with their own 3-1 victory to take home the title.
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- Courtesy of USA Softball