USA Schutt Elite run-rules New ZealandUSA Schutt Elite run-rules New Zealand, 8-1
SURREY, B.C. - USA Schutt Elite parlayed a five-run second inning into an 8-1 conquest of New Zealand on Wednesday night. The game was stopped in the fifth due to the mercy rule. Vicki Galindo (Union City, Calif.) went 2-for-3, scored twice and notched a pair of RBI out of the leadoff spot, Sara Dean (Valencia, Calif.) chipped in with a couple of hits and Kristie Fox (San Diego, Calif.) contributed a two-run single for the victors. Brooke Mitchell (Pasadena, Texas) worked the first three innings, allowing three hits and a run, to even her ledger at 1-1 in the tournament.
Improving to 5-1 in the 2004 Canada Cup, the Red, White and Blue aims to secure second place in the Red Pool with a victory over host Canada (3-2) tomorrow. A boisterous crowd is expected at Softball City on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. for the meeting between the North American rivals.
Kiri Shaw was hit by a pitch from Mitchell to open the contest before the hurler responded with a strikeout of Kalala Faalogo. Mitchell then plunked Char Pouaka to give New Zealand a pair of runners on base. After Upu Lote flew out to Jodie Legaspi (Garden Grove, Calif.) in foul territory, Mitchell uncorked a wild pitch to advance the runners to second and third. The right-hander worked out of the jam by having Togi Lote line out to center.
Now batting .500 (8-for-16) in the event, Galindo tripled to the wall in center to start the bottom of the inning and scored when the left fielder dropped Caitlin Lowe’s (Tustin, Calif.) routine pop-up. USA Schutt Elite would bust the contest wide open in the second, when it plated five runs on four hits to construct a 6-0 lead. Dean reached on a sneak bunt but was erased on Legaspi’s fielder’s choice. Following a walk to Emily Zaplatosch (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Catalina Morris (Sonoita, Ariz.) was grazed by a pitch to fill the bases with one down. A double by Galindo into right center plated Legaspi and pinch runner Jackie Rinehart (Reno, Nev.) and Lowe delivered an RBI single to boost the margin to 4-0 and trigger a pitching change. Fox greeted reliever Cynthia Fallowfield with a two-run knock up the middle to bring across Galindo and Lowe.
New Zealand strung together three straight one-out singles in the third to break into the scoring column and end the U.S. pitching staff’s scoreless streak at 23 innings dating back to the squad’s second outing in the tourney. Shaw and Faalogo collected base-hits before Pouaka stroked an RBI hit into right field to narrow the margin to 6-1. With runners on the corners, Mitchell caught Upu Lote looking at strike three as Pouaka stole second base. Soon after, Fox would make a running grab of Togi Lote’s fly ball to end the frame.
USA regained its six-run bulge during its third turn at bat on an RBI single by Morris that scored Dean, who had roped a double down the left field line. Norrelle Dickson (Orange, Calif.) drew a one-out walk in the fourth, occupied second on a passed ball and brought home USA’s eighth run on a double by Vanessa Iapala (San Diego, Calif.).
Jay Miller’s club totaled eight hits, including a 4-for-8 performance from the top three hitters in the batting order: Galindo, Lowe and Fox. USA Schutt Elite has now out-scored the opposition, 32-3, through six games and has been successful on 11 of its 12 stolen base attempts. Mitchell registered four strikeouts during her outing, with Lisa Dodd (San Diego, Calif.) shutting out New Zealand over the final two stanzas.