USA Softball Completes Pool Play
July 05, 2007
USA Use Base Hits To Shut out Absolute Blast
July 03, 2007
USA Softball Run Rules Australia
July 02, 2007
USA Rocks Puerto Rico
July 01, 2007
June 30, 2007
World Champs! USA Softball Junior Women capture gold with 3-1 win over Japan
ENSCHEDE, Netherlands – As a lazy fly ball landed in the glove of Brittany Lastrapes, the third base dugout emptied onto the field in celebration as the USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team defeated Japan 3-1 Saturday afternoon to become the new world champions. The win capped off a perfect 11 days as the Americans went 10-0 to capture the championship of the ISF Junior Women’s World Championship at the Tex Town Complex.
The win didn’t come easy as the USA had to fight from behind early. Japan scored an unearned run in the top of the first inning to mark just the second time in 10 games the USA has trailed. But the Americans took the lead back in the second inning thanks to a two-run, five-hit effort.
Tiffany Huff (Saugus, Calif.) got the rally going with a single to center field. Ashley Brignac (River Ridge, La.) singled up the middle to put two on with two out. Bianca Mejia (Sylmar, Calif.) came through with a big RBI single up the middle to tie the game. And later in the inning, Lastrapes (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) singled through the right side of the infield to drive in Brignac and give the USA the lead.
The USA tacked on an insurance run in the fifth inning when Monica Harrison (Garden Grove, Calif.) reached on a fielder’s choice, driving in Alissa Haber (Newark, Calif.) to make it 3-1. The Japanese team had several chances, putting runners in scoring position in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings, but couldn’t capitalize. In the seventh, Japan got the leadoff runner on and moved her to second on a sacrifice bunt, but Donna Kerr (San Diego, Calif.) got a strikeout and then got Yuki Hayashi to fly out to Lastrapes in left field to set off a wild celebration.
“Obviously, we’re all very excited,” Lastrapes said. “I’m really proud to represent my country and to be the first USA Junior team to win the gold in 12 years. Even when we fell behind today, we kept battling and we never gave up. We knew we could do it; we just want to panic.”
Brignac got the start in the gold medal game and went 3.1 innings. She allowed one unearned run on six hits while walking one and striking out one. Megan Elliott (Prince Frederick, Md.) picked up the win in relief, throwing two strong innings while giving up four hits. Kerr pitched the final 1.2 innings, striking out two, to pick up the save.
“I thought we fought back after falling behind early to put some runs on the board to go ahead,” said head coach Jay Miller. “We gave ourselves a chance every inning and I knew it was just a matter of time before we broke through. But Japan did the same thing. We really stepped up defensively and got great pitching from all three girls. They got us out of jams. It was just a great team effort and a great job from the pitching staff to shut down an outstanding Japan team.”
At the plate, the USA had five players – Lastrapes, Haber, Ashley Hansen (Chandler, Ariz.), Harrison and Mejia - record two hits apiece, while Huff and Brignac each had one.
Lastrapes was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, and was also named to the all-tournament team as the tournament’s best left fielder. She batted .548 with 17 hits, six RBI and five stolen bases. Viefhaus was named the tournament’s best third baseman, earning all-tournament honors. She batted .429 with nine hits and six RBI
“I can’t explain how I felt when they called my name,” Lastrapes said. “I was completely in shock, but I was also so excited. I’ve never felt that before.”
The championship game marked the USA’s sixth consecutive time in the gold medal contest, winning in 1987 in Oklahoma City, Okla., 1995 in Normal. Ill., and now 2007 in Enschede, Netherlands. For the tournament, the Red, White and Blue outscored its opponents 88-4.
“I’m just really proud,” Miller said. “The kids bought in to what we were trying to do from day one and came together as a ball club. I’m very proud of the way they represented the United States and USA Softball. This was a great group to work with. The coaching staff – Suzy Brazney, Barbara Jordan and Cheri Kempf – did a wonderful job in terms of scouting our opponents and preparing our team to play. It was just a great team effort by everyone involved.”
USA Softball Escapes
June 30, 2007
USA Softball Escapes with 1-0 Victory
Surrey, B.C., - Japan Elite kept the red, white and blue offense at bay as the USA National Softball team escaped with a 1-0 victory over Japan Elite today in the opening game of the 14th Annual Canada Cup International Women’s Fastpitch Tournament at Softball City in Surrey, B.C. Monica Abbott (Salinas, Calif.) earned the win for the team striking out seven of the nine batters she faced.
Jennie Finch (La Mirada, Calif.) got the start in the circle for the red, white and blue in the team’s first outing of the season. After the No. 1 and No.2 batters reached with hits, Finch responded with two strikeouts to keep the runners stranded.
Caitlin Lowe (Tustin, Calif.) led off with a single in the first and that would be the only hit for the U.S. until the third when Natasha Watley (Irvine, Calif.) struck with a single down the third baseline.
Jennie Ritter (Dexter, Mich.) came at the top of the fourth after Finch threw three complete innings, allowing two hits. Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.) provided solid defense for Ritter in left field chasing down two hard hit balls, shutting down any potential extra base hits.
Kelly Kretschman (Indian Harbour, Fla.), in her first appearance with the National Team since 2005, put up the team’s third hit with a single to third base but was left stranded on second leaving the score at 0-0 heading into the 5th-inning.
During the fifth, the U.S. escaped a run as Mendoza threw in a blooper hit over the head of third baseman Andrea Duran (Selma, Calif.) into catcher Amanda Topping (Whittier, Calif.) for an out at home. After allowing two hits in the fifth, Ritter was taken out of the game and Abbott came in with a runner in scoring position at second and one out. Japan Elite continued to battle the pitching staff as the first batter Abbott faced, laid down a bunt to put runners at first and third with one out. However two strikeouts by Abbott left two runners stranded and the score at a stand still.
The U.S. offense came alive in the fifth with Lowe leading off with her second hit of the day followed by a single by Watley. Mendoza flied out to center but the bases were loaded off a single by Crystl Bustos (Canyon County, Calif.). Kretschman was hit by a pitch and plated Lowe for the first and only run of the game.
Abbott kept runners off the base paths through the sixth and seventh, striking out five of the six batters faced in the final two innings.
June 2007 Rule Clarifications and Plays
June 30, 2007
Should Umpires Call “Time” to Rotate Back to Their Basic Starting Positions After End of Playing Action?
14th Annual Canada Cup
June 29, 2007USA Women Open Play with 14th Annual Canada CupSurrey, B.C. – With a jammed pack schedule this summer, the USA Softball Women’s National Team kicks off its season on Saturday at the 14th Annual Canada Cup International Women’s Fastpitch Tournament at Softball City in Surrey, B.C. The USA National Team is looking to repeat their 2002 appearance at the Canada Cup which ended with the championship heading back to the United States.The team will open up play with a 3:30 p.m. game against Japan Elite then five more pool play games before the start of the playoffs on Friday, July 6. The U.S. is definitely in the toughest pool at the Canada Cup. The USA, Japan and Canada will face each other prior to the playoffs. These same three teams will be in Oklahoma City, July 12-16, for the KFC World Cup of Softball. Australia, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist, will also be making an appearance at this year’s Canada Cup but was placed in the opposite pool.The Canada Cup should be familiar to the majority of the USA roster as more than half have competed at the event over the course of their national team career. The roster includes: Monica Abbott, Salinas, Calif.; Laura Berg, Santa Fe Springs, Calif.; Crystl Bustos, Canyon Country, Calif.; Andrea Duran, Selma, Calif.; Jennie Finch, La Mirada, Calif.; Tairia Flowers, Tucson, Ariz.; Vicky Galindo, Union City, Calif.; Alicia Hollowell, Suisun, Calif.; Lovie Jung, Fountain Valley, Calif.; Kelly Kretschman, Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.; Lauren Lappin, Anaheim, Calif.; Caitlin Lowe, Tustin, Calif.; Jessica Mendoza, Camarillo, Calif.; Cat Osterman, Houston, Texas; Jennie Ritter, Dexter, Mich.; Jenny Topping, Whittier, Calif. and Natasha Watley, Irvine, Calif.The team is led by Head Coach Mike Candrea, who led the 2002 USA Softball Women’s National Team to the Canada Cup title prior to leading the same squad to the 2002 ISF World Championship title. He is assisted by Chuck D’Arcy, Karen Johns and John Rittman.
2007 USA Canada Cup Schedule
All Times PST
Date Time Game Field
Sat., June 30 3:30 p.m. USA vs. Japan Elite Softball City - 1
Sun., July 1 10:30 a.m. USA vs. Puerto Rico Softball City - 1
Mon., July 2 3:30 p.m. USA vs. Australia Softball City - 1
Tue., July 3 3:30 p.m. USA vs. WA Absolute Blast Softball City - 1
Wed., July 4 1:00 p.m. USA vs. Chinese Taipei Softball City - 1
Thur., July 5 8:30 p.m. USA vs. White Rock Renegades Softball City - 1
Fri., July 6 TBA Medal Rounds
Sat., July 7 TBA Medal Rounds
Sun., July 8 TBA Medal Rounds
USA Junior Women advance
June 29, 2007
USA Junior Women advance to gold medal game with 3-0 win over Japan
ENSCHEDE, Netherlands – A four-hit shutout from Ashley Brignac (River Ridge, La.) and several key hits propelled the United States into the gold medal game with a 3-0 victory over defending world champion Japan Friday evening at the ISF Junior Women’s World Championships.
It marks the first win since 1995 that a USA Junior Women’s team has had over Japan at a Junior Women’s World Championship. Japan had been 4-0 against the Red, White and Blue at the past two Junior World Championship (1999 and 2003).
“I thought we did a nice job coming out and putting runners on base, which gave us opportunities,” said head coach Jay Miller. “We put a runner on base in every inning, which is what you need to do. That’s a good sign heading into the gold medal game.
“We got a great pitching performance by Ashley and Rosey called a great game. We made the plays defensively, we needed to make. The big key was keeping the leadoff runner off base every inning. That really makes it easier for the defense. We had some big hits throughout order, which is another good sign going into the final game.”
The USA struck first, scoring an unearned run in the second inning. Monica Harrison (Garden Grove, Calif.) singled and then Neena Bryant (Placentia, Calif.) reached on an error to put two on with no one out. Tiffany Huff (Saugus, Calif.) reached on a fielder’s choice, but on the play, second baseman Marina Kira flipped the ball past the shortstop covering second base and into the outfield, allowing Harrison to come around and score.
In the fourth inning, the USA struck for two more runs to make it 3-0. Bryant singled to lead off the inning and eventually was driven in by a double from Huff to left-center field. After Rosey Neill (Laguna Hills, Calif.) moved her to third base with a ground out, Brittany Lastrapes (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) drove her in with a single to center field.
Those runs would be more than enough for Brignac, who turned in a dominating performance against one of the top offenses at the tournament. She scattered four hits in seven innings, walking none and striking out 10. The win moves her to 4-0 for the tournament.
“I think this was our best game since we’ve been here,” Brignac said. “Everyone was pumped and now we’re ready for tomorrow. The elements were a little difficult, but I’m used to that. The rain is the worst one to deal with, but you have to do what you have to do. Just about everything was working for me today. I stayed with my best pitch and that’s what they were going after. If we face [Japan] again, I’ll have the same game plan.”
At the plate, the USA pounded out 10 hits, led by three from Alissa Haber (Newark, Calif.). Harrison and Huff each had two hits while Lastrapes, Maggie Viefhaus (Pacific, Mo.) and Bryant each had one.
“It doesn’t matter who we see,” Miller said. “It wouldn’t surprise me to see Japan, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see another team. Any of the three teams left, we have seen. Whoever it is, I think the kids will be ready.”
The Red, White and Blue, now 9-0, advances to the gold medal game Saturday at 2 pm local time, 7 am Central, against the winner of the bronze medal game. The USA has played in each of the previous five gold medal games at this event, held every four years. In four of those five times, the USA faced Japan. The USA beat China in 1987, lost to Japan in 1991, beat Japan in 1995 and fell to Japan in both 1999 and 2003.
World Championship Headquarters
June 28, 2007