ENSCHEDE, Netherlands – Donna Kerr (San Diego, Calif.) pitched three innings of no-hit ball with seven strikeouts and the offense pounded out 10 hits as the USA Junior Team opened up play Friday morning with an 11-0, five-inning win over Puerto Rico at the Junior World Softball Championships.
The USA got on the board in the first inning when Monica Harrison (Garden Grove, Calif.) singled through the left side to drive in GiOnna DiSalvatore (Palm Harbor, Fla.). That would be enough for the pitching staff, but the USA poured on 10 more runs, ending the game due to the run-ahead rule.
“I thought we came out pretty good,” said head coach Jay Miller. “We got a great performance out of Donna Kerr and the offense came around. We scored in each inning, which is a good sign. We weren’t sitting around and coasting on the lead. Defensively, we need to get a little tighter, but we’ll get that worked out.”
Kerr faced nine batters and struck out seven of them, throwing just 43 pitches. Megan Langenfeld (Bakersfield, Calif.) pitched the final two innings, allowing one hit while striking out one.
“My riseball and screwball were working pretty well today, and they were swinging at them,” Kerr said. “Any time you can go out there with a lead, you are a little more relaxed. A win like this is important and will boost our confidence as we head into a tough game with Australia tonight.”
In the second inning, Katie Schroeder (Yorba Linda, Calif.) drove in pinch runner Alissa Haber with a ground out and then Brittany Lastrapes (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) drove in two runs with a triple down the right field line, scoring Neena Bryant (Placentia, Calif.) and Rosey Neill (Laguna Hills, Calif.).
The Red, White and Blue broke things open in the third inning, scoring six runs, highlighted by Neill’s two-RBI triple to the gap. Maggie Viefhaus (Pacific, Mo.) drove in two with a double while Bryant and Ashley Hansen (Chandler, Ariz.) also had an RBI in the inning.
In the fourth inning, DiSalvatore drove in Schroeder with a single to right field to make it 11-0.
At the plate, Bryant led the way with two hits and an RBI. Schroeder, Lastrapes, DiSalvatore, Viefhaus, Harrison, Hansen, Tiffany Huff and Neill each had one hit in the game.