The USA Softball Women’s National team scored two early runs and held on to beat Australia 3-0 in the Championship game of the 2012 World Cup of Softball presented by Lumber Liquidators.
Jackie Traina (Naples, Fla.) got the start in the circle for the USA National team. She entered the World Cup of Softball Championship with a 1.11 era for the tournament. Her international play dominance continued as she completed four innings only giving up one hit and striking out five.
In the first inning Kaitlin Cochran (Yorba Linda, Calif.) lead off with a single for the USA. Two batters later Stacy May-Johnson (Reno, Nevada) singled to give the Americans runners at first and second.
From the five hole, Samantha Fischer (Simi Valley, Calif.) drove a ball over the center fielders head for a double and giving USA a 2-0 lead. It was Fischer’s fifth and sixth RBI of the 2012 World Cup.
“I just focused and tried to stay within myself,” said Fischer. “I was looking for my pitch. I went in the hole 0-2 but I found a pitch I could drive and fortunately it went over the fielders head.”
It became it a pitching duel in the second and third innings as both Traina and Australia pitcher Vanessa Anne Stokes retired six straight batters sending the game into the top of the fourth with USA still holding on to their 2-0 lead.
After a fourth Traina strike out to start the fourth, Australia’s Leigh Godfrey singled to left to end the no-hitter bid for the USA pitcher. A fielder’s choice and fly out to second ended Australia’s hopes of scoring any runs in the fourth.
Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) walked to start the bottom of the fourth but two strikeouts and a fly ball to third base ended the inning.
Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif.) entered the circle for team USA in the top of the fifth picking up right where Traina left off. Australia’s Chelsea Forkin sent a fly ball to right field for the first out of the inning. Taylor picked up two strikeouts of her own in the next two at-bats and USA entered the bottom of the fifth still up by two.
USA’s bats came alive in the fifth when Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) singled to third and a throwing error from Australia third baseman Stacy Porter sent the ball rolling past first base and into the right field. The speedy Moultrie rounded all three bases and crossed home plate giving USA the 3-0 advantage.
In the top of the sixth Keilani Ricketts (San Jose, Calif.) entered to pitch for Team USA. Continuing the dominance from the circle for the Americans, Ricketts retired the first three Australian batters she faced to send the game to the bottom of the inning.
With one out in the sixth, Fischer stepped back to the place and picked up her second double of the night with another long fly ball to the fence in center field.
Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) entered the batter’s box for the USA in the next at-bat. An error at third base put Chidester on first and gave the USA two runners for shortstop Molly Johnson (Lexington, Ky.). Johnson picked up a single to load the bases for the Red, White and Blue, however fly outs to first and second stranded the runners and ended the inning for the USA.
Entering the top of the seventh Ricketts returned to the circle for the USA to pick up three outs that would give her team the World Cup Championship. She did just that striking out two Australian batters and sitting down a third on a ground out to Johnson at shortstop.
Schedule for World Cup
Wednesday, June 27
Slow Pitch Showdown
USA Men's Futures 38 - USA Men 37
Thursday, June 28
Brazil 2 - Puerto Rico 1
Netherlands 7 - Canada 6
Australia 11 - Brazil 1
USA 8 - Puerto Rico 0 (5 innings)
Friday, June 29
Netherlands 4 - Brazil 3
Australia 7 - Canada 6
Netherlands 7 - Puerto Rico 2
USA 3 - Australia 1
Saturday, June 30
USA 2 - Netherlands 1
Border Battle IV
USA 32 - Canada 21
USA 9 - Canada 0
Australia 6 - Puerto Rico 2
Sunday, July 1
USA 9 - Brazil 0
Australia 4 - Netherlands 0
Canada 7 - Puerto Rico 0
Canada 13 - Brazil 0
Monday, July 2
Puerto Rico 4 - Brazil 1
Canada 11 - Netherlands 8
USA 3 - Australia 0
For more information on the World Cup, log on to www.usasoftball.com.