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Canney Helps Lead USA to 12-2 Win Over New Zealand at Worlds

 CARACAS, Venezuela – Eileen Canney (Paradise Valley, Calif.) earned her first USA Softball international win as USA Softball defeated New Zealand 12-2 (four) in the first of two Friday games for the USA at the ISF Women’s Softball World Championship in Caracas, Venezuela. Alissa Haber (Newark, Calif.) was 2-for-3 on the day with two runs scored and two RBI. 

Canney, one of two rookies on the 2010 Women’s National Team, made her first appearance on the international scene in Red, White and Blue and came out strong, retiring the first three of four batters with a strikeout. She allowed four hits and two earned runs in four innings while recording five total strikeouts. 

“I get nervous before every game but this one was definitely up there. I was really nervous at the beginning but I began to settle down and realized I had such great support around me. That really helped calm my nerves,” said Canney. “It was just an amazing experience today to play for the USA in such a beautiful stadium in a beautiful country. I have some things I need to work on but overall it was a great team win.” 

After scoring only one run in the opening game, USA Softball scored six in the second inning off of four hits and being selective at the plate. Kaitlin Cochran (Yorba Linda, Calif.) led off the second inning with a triple to left centerfield to start the rally. Cochran would eventually come back up to the plate in the second and reach on an error by the first baseman. Six USA batters reached consecutively including three who drew walks off of starting pitcher Charlene Cartwright. The speed on the bases took advantage of a wild pitch and passed ball to advance and for one run. Natasha Watley (Irvine, Calif.) also hit a triple in the second for one RBI to help give the U.S. an early 6-0 advantage. 

New Zealand got two runners on base off of two singles but a double play turned by rookie Tammy Williams (Osceola, Mo.) and Andrea Duran (Selma, Calif.) left the runners on the base paths. 

The United States worked through two different pitchers in the third, after Cartwright was removed at the top of the third, on their way to a 6-run inning and a 12-0 lead. The second pitcher of the game, Michal Tangaroa, was removed after the United States scored two runs of a Chelsea Bramlett (Cordova, Tenn.) single. The third pitcher of the game for New Zealand faced no easy feat as she came in with bases loaded, no outs and two runs already on the board for the third inning. Alissa Haber (Newark, Calif.) jumped on her for a two-RBI double. Two sac-flies would account for the other two runs and a 12-0 USA advantage. 

Within one out of the game being called due to Run-Ahead rule, starting pitcher Cartwright took some of the runs back with a two-run home run to left field. The homer scored Katrina Stockforo who led off the inning with a single but it was not enough for a rally and the United States walked away with a 12-2, four-inning victory. 

The United States will face home team Venezuela at 6:30 p.m. CT. This will be the first meeting between the two teams in World Championship play. Live stats are provided for all USA games in Caracas at http://www.usasoftball.com. 

- Courtesy of USA Softball