Caguas, Puerto Rico – In three games, the USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team has outscored its opponents 30-0, with half of those runs coming from tonight’s 10-0 shutout over Puerto Rico at the 2006 II Junior Women’s Pan American Championships.
The first batter of the game, Brittany Lastrapes (Laguna Niguel, Calif.), hit a single to right field and was followed by Alissa Haber (Newark, Calif.) who reached on an error. Rosey Neill (Laguna Hills, Calif.) drew a walk to load up the bases for Tiffany Huff (Saugus, Calif.) who belted a home run over the right field fence for a grand slam to give her team an early 4-0 lead. After earning a walk, Neena Bryant (Placentia, Calif.) scored the last run of the inning after advancing to third off a single by Monica Harrison (Garden Grove, Calif.) and a throwing error by the catcher.
K’ Lee Arredondo (Tempe, Ariz.) led off the second with a bunt and used her speed to advance to third off a sacrifice from Lastrapes. A single up the middle by Haber allowed Arredondo to score, increasing the U.S. lead to 6-0.
The U.S. took advantage of some shaky defense by Puerto Rico in the third inning. Three runs were scored during Katie Schroeder‘s (Yorba Linda, Calif.) at bat off just one single. With Schroeder at the plate, Harrison scored on a wild pitch and Ashley Hansen (Chandler, Ariz.) advanced to third. A throwing error by the catcher allowed Hansen to cross the plate which cleared the base paths. Schroeder continued her at bat and laid down a bunt. A throwing error by the third baseman sent the ball into right field, advancing Schroeder to third. Another error by the right fielder allowed Schroeder to score and give the U.S. a 9-0 lead. Arredondo put up the final run of the game in the fifth inning when Lastrapes reached on an error by the shortstop.
Starter Donna Kerr (San Diego, Calif.) threw three innings, allowing no hits and five strikeouts to earn her first win of the tournament. Megan Elliott (Prince Frederick, MD) came in relief in the top of the fourth and did not allow a hit until the fifth but a strikeout and a popup to catcher kept the shutout in place.
The U.S. (3-0) will look to continue its winning ways tomorrow as they face Canada at 4 p.m. The last time these two teams met was at the inaugural Championship in 2002 which ended in a 2-0 U.S. victory.
Complete coverage of this event can be found at www.usasoftball.com.
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