SURREY, B.C. --- Completing pool play at a perfect 7-0, the USA Elite slipped by Triple Crown Colorado 1-0 on Thursday evening with a bottom of the seventh one run decision. A triple from Lauren Lappin (Anaheim, Calif.) followed by an RBI single from Tiffany Haas (Santa Ana, Calif.) was just enough to give the home team the 1-0 victory.
Starting pitcher Gina Oaks (Alta Loma, Calif.) had a strong outing for the Red, White and Blue earning her first win allowing just three hits, one walk while totaling 11 strikeouts.
“This team really persevered and held on tonight,” said head coach Carol Hutchins.
“We have made some great strides this week and hopefully we will continue to do so through the playoffs. I thought Gina did a nice job for us tonight and it was great to see Lauren (Lappin) and Tiffany (Haas) come through.”
Earning the No. 1 seed from the Red Pool, the U.S. will begin playoff action on Friday, July 8 at 3:30 p.m. against the No. 4 seed from the White Pool Canada Elite.
Totaling seven hits on the evening, the U.S. offense faced scoring opportunities in the first, third and fifth innings, but the pitching and defense of Triple Crown denied the U.S.
Batting leader Nicole Giordano (Saugus, Calif.), hitting .560, advanced to second in the first inning off a base hit and stolen base, but back-to-back strikeouts from Triple Crown pitcher Stephanie Klaviter halted the U.S. hopes.
Another opportunity in the third inning, Kaleo Eldredge (Kahului, Hawaii) laid down a bunt single along with a stolen base to advance into scoring position, but became one of the six runners left stranded in the game for Team USA.
Shortstop Lauren Lappin (Anaheim, Calif.) broke out of a hitting slump in the fifth inning with an infield single to the left side, but again was left behind after a strikeout and groundout pushed the game scoreless into the fifth.
Continuing to play solid defense, the U.S. held Triple Crown before the bat of Lappin struck again in the bottom of the seventh with a hard hit triple to the left field fences. Bringing Haas to the plate, all it took was one pitch as she drove it easily through the left side scoring Lappin for the walk off 1-0 win.
Triple Crown Colorado saw just three runners advance into scoring position throughout the contest. Jessica Strickland tripled in the first inning, a wild pitch advanced Darcy Johnson in the fourth, and in the seventh inning a base hit from Ali Carter followed by a sacrifice bunt from Kayleen Hudson put Carter on second base.
Giordano and Lappin led the game each contributing a 2-for-3 outing.
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 88 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 240,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit www.asasoftball.com.
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 seven World Championship titles including the last five consecutive. For more information about USA Softball, please visit www.usasoftball.com.
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