SUMMERSVILLE W.Va. – In their first competition of 2012 the USA Women’s National Team and USA Women’s Elite Team each took one game of their doubleheader exhibition matchup in Summersville, W. Va. On Thursday. The USA Elite Team used three runs in the top of the eighth to captured Game 1 by a score of 5-2. The USA Women’s National Team bounced back to run-rule the Elite Team in Game 2 by a score of 9-0 (5).
“We have some things we’ve got to clean up,” said Women’s National Team head coach Ken Erikson. “Today was about getting out there and making sure we’ve got our feet underneath us. Communication was good on a lot of our drill work but we ran some defensive plays and schemes that I thought we could improve on. We’ve still got a long way to go before the World Championships.”
Outfielder Kaitlin Cochran (Yorba Linda, Calif.) led the Women’s National Team with a 3-6 evening including a solo home run in the first at bat of Game 2. Cochran finished the night with two runs and two RBI.
“In the first game we had great approaches but things just didn’t fall our way,” said Cochran. “In the second game we seemed to be a lot more comfortable and did a great job. There’s a great future for this team.”
GAME 1 – Women’s Elite Team 5 Women’s National Team 2
Pitcher Ellen Renfroe (Jackson, Tenn.) earned the win for the Women’s Elite Team in Game 1. Renfroe entered midway through the sixth inning facing a 2-2 tied game and held the Women’s National Team from scoring another run. Centerfielder Destinee Martinez (Corona, Calif.) paced the Women’s Elite Team from the plate going 3-5 and recording a stolen base.
Both teams got off to a slow start to begin the game each going three up, three down in the first inning. Following a pair of walks to start the second inning for the Women’s Elite Team, Lindsey Ziegenhirt (Elk Grove, Calif.) batted in the first run of the evening with a sacrifice fly to leftfield. In the following at bat, Elizabeth Caporuscio (Twin Peaks, Calif.) doubled to score a second run.
The 2-0 score held until the bottom of the fourth inning when Cochran recorded her second single of the game. Three batters later, right fielder Christie Orgeron singled to bring in Cochran putting the Women’s National Team within one run of the Women’s Elite Team.
Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) led off the bottom of the sixth with a solo homerun to tie the game at two. Neither team would add another run leading to an eighth and extra inning. In the eighth inning the teams enacted the international tiebreaker rule (ITB). Renfroe began the inning on second base and crossed home on a Madison Shipman (Valencia, Calif.) double in the inning’s first at bat. Shipman would then come around to score on a Rebecca Gamby (Mt. Victory, Ohio) single. Women’s National Team Pitcher Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif.) struck out the next two batters before giving up a solo shot to Katelyn Boyd (Phoenix, Ariz.) that brought in Gamby. The three extra-inning runs gave the Women’s Elite Team a 5-2 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning.
Stacy May-Johnson began the inning on second base but the Women’s National Team could not take advantage as Cochran fly out to centerfield and Jenae Leles grounded into a double play to end the game.
GAME 2 – Women’s National Team 9 Women’s Elite Team 0
The Women’s National Team jumped on top quick in game two when Cochran belted a solo shot to start the game.
The Women’s Elite Team struggled in the bottom half of the opening inning with two strikeouts and a base runner caught stealing. The National Team picked right back up in the second inning scoring two runs and grabbing a 3-0 lead.
The real damage was done in the fifth inning when the Women’s National Team recorded five runs off of three hits and one error. With a dominating 8-0 lead, the inning was highlighted by a pair of doubles from first-year Women’s National Team members Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) and Samantha Fischer (Simi Valley, Calif.).
On the other side, National Team pitcher Jackie Traina kept the Elite Team’s bats quiet only giving up one hit in her four innings in the circle earning her first win as a member of the USA Women’s National Team. Keilani Rickets (San Jose, Calif.) entered the pitching circle in the fifth inning and retired the first three batters she face reserving the 9-0 run-rule win for the Women’s National Team.
Up next, both teams will travel to Ashland, Ohio where they will play their final exhibition series on Monday evening at 6 pm.
The Women’s National Team will continue on to Oklahoma City for the Title IX 40th Anniversary Celebration Game against Canada on June 23 and the World Cup of Softball VII presented by Lumber Liquidators, June 27- July 2, in Oklahoma City.
Following the World Cup, the Women’s National Team is slated to compete July 4-9 at the Canadian Open Fast Pitch International Championship in Surrey, B.C., Canada, and July 13-22 at the International Softball Federation (ISF) Women’s World Championship in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 210,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of the only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles including the last seven consecutive as well as claimed five World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.
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