ENSCHEDE, Netherlands – Ashley Hansen’s two-RBI triple broke open a tight ballgame in the sixth inning as the United States went on to beat Australia 6-0 on Friday evening at the Junior World Softball Championships.
“We had runners on base every inning, but if you get that many on, you’d like to get some more runs,” said head coach Jay Miller. “We left a lot of runs out there tonight and our pitching wasn’t sharp. But it’s an excellent sign that you can come out without your best stuff and still throw shutouts. We’re not clicking on all cylinders, but we keep improving. I’m pleased with the way we started, but I think we can be much better.”
Leading 2-0, Hansen (Chandler, Ariz.) laced a triple to the right-center gap on the first pitch she saw, scoring GiOnna DiSalvatore (Palm Harbor, Fla.) and Neena Bryant (Placentia, Calif.). On the play, with Hansen sliding into third, the throw to the base scooted past the fielder and allowed her to reach home making it 5-0.
Ashley Brignac (River Ridge, La.) earned her first win of the tournament going 5.0 innings. The Gatorade National Player of the Year scattered two hits with five strikeouts and two walks, throwing 76 pitches. Megan Elliott (Prince Frederick, Md.) pitched the final two innings, walking one and striking out one.
Brittany Lastrapes (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) led off the game with a single to left-center and then stole second base. She moved up on Hansen’s ground out and scored on a sacrifice fly by Alissa Haber (Newark, Calif.). In the third inning, Haber reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second before scoring on a triple by Maggie Viefhaus (Pacific, Mo.) to the left-center gap.
“It was very important for us to come out and set the tone today so that other teams can see that we’re here for a reason,” Viefhaus said. “It gives us confidence to come out and play like this and hopefully we can continue to do so.”
Leading 2-0, the skies opened up and torrential rain flooded the field, delaying the game almost two hours in the top of the third inning.
The USA added a run in the seventh inning when Megan Langenfeld (Bakersfield, Calif.) doubled to score Monica Harrison (Garden Grove, Calif.), who singled to start the inning.
At the plate, Hansen had two hits and two RBI while Viefhaus had two hits and an RBI. Lastrapes, Harrison, Bianca Mejia (Sylmar, Calif.), Langenfeld and DiSalvatore each had two hits.
The Red, White and Blue (2-0) will take on Canada Saturday at 4:30 p.m. local time/9:30 CT. Canada is 2-0 after beating Italy 2-1 and Botswana 15-0.
< Back to previous page