USA Softball beats Australia 3-0 at U.S. Cup; plays for gold Sunday
Honolulu, HI -- Team USA found the long-lost long ball and got solid pitching as it blanked Australia 3-0 Saturday at the U.S. Cup at University of Hawaii’s Wahine Softball Stadium. USA Softball concluded the round-robin portion of the tournament as the only unbeaten team, posting a 3-0 mark, while Australia is in the exact opposite situation, as it is the only team to exit the round-robin without a win at 0-3.
The United States will face China in Sunday’s gold medal game, which is scheduled for 9 p.m. (EST). Australia will challenge Japan in the bronze medal game, which starts at 7 p.m. (EST).
Tairia Mims (Tucson, AZ) and Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, CA) both hit solo home runs as the U.S. offense posted eight hits. Mims alone was responsible for three of those hits, as she also singled in the second and sixth innings.
Mims’ second-inning single eventually led to the game’s first run, as she moved to second on an error in the outfield on her hit and later scored on single back up the middle from Lizzy Lemire (Irvine, CA).
Amanda Freed (Cypress, CA) pitched a complete game for USA Softball, allowing three hits while striking out 12 and walking one. Two of the hits she allowed came in the first, singles to Kerry Wyborn - who had two hits on the day - and Natalie Ward. Freed settled down tremendously after the initial frame, setting the side down in order four of the next six innings, including retiring the game’s final 10 batters. She closed out the game by striking out the final five batters she faced.
Australia’s starting pitcher, Zara Mee, struck out the first four U.S. batters of the game before Mims started the second inning scoring rush. Mee, saddled with the loss, worked the game’s first three innings, allowing five hits and one run while striking out six, before giving way to Kelly Gentle. Gentle closed out the final three innings, giving up three hits and two runs while striking out five.
Mims hit her home run to left field in the fourth to make the lead 2-0, while Mendoza roped her shot to center field in the fifth inning. For the U.S., it was the first home runs of the tournament.
Other players collecting hits for the U.S. were Natasha Watley (Irvine, CA), Nicole Giordano (Saugus, CA) and Lindsey Collins (Fountain Valley, CA).
For complete coverage of the 2001 U.S. Cup, including live scoring updates, check out usasoftball.com.