Australia foils USA Schutt Elite again, 5-2
IRVINE, Calif. Australia snapped a 2-2 stalemate with three runs in the third on its way to a 5-2 triumph over USA Schutt Elite on Wednesday night. With the defeat, USA sits at 1-1 at the Champions Cup and suffered its second loss to the Aussies (2-0) in five days. Monica Abbott (Salinas, Calif.) was tagged for eight hits and five runs over three innings to fall to 4-1 on the tour. Brooke Mitchell (Pasadena, Texas) was effective in relief, limiting Australia to just one hit over the final three innings with five strikeouts.
“I thought that we did a nice job swinging the bats early in the game, highlighted by Catalina Morris’ hit,” commented Head Coach Jay Miller. “We did not seem to get the job done in the circle, although Brooke did a great job in relief giving us a chance to come back. We need to have better performances from our starting pitching. Tonight was a learning experience against an Olympic Team like Australia, I look forward to seeing them again in the medal round.”
USA drew first blood in the second on a two-run, two-out double by Catalina Morris (Sonoita, Ariz.). Sara Dean (Valencia, Calif.) drew a leadoff walk and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Andrea Duran (Selma, Calif.). Emily Zaplatosch (Scottsdale, Ariz.) earned a base on balls to give USA two runners aboard before hurler Brooke Wilkins answered with a strikeout of Vanessa Iapala (San Diego, Calif.). Caitlin Benyi (Scottsdale, Ariz.) punched a two-out single into left field to fill the sacks and Morris came through with a double into right to score Dean and Zaplatosch. Caitlin Lowe (Tustin, Calif.) would line out to the third baseman to end the frame.
Australia tied the game in the bottom of the stanza on a two-run jack by Natalie Titcume that cleared the fence in left. Marissa Carpadios started her team’s turn at the dish with a double off Abbott before the southpaw fanned Tracey Mosley for her third strikeout. Soon after, Titcume sent a 1-1 offering out of the yard to square the affair at two runs apiece.
The Aussies seized the lead in the third with three runs on four hits to take a 5-2 lead. Fiona Crawford stroked a base-hit into left to start the inning and was sacrificed over by Peta Edebone. Abbott plunked Stacey Porter and Carpadios singled to short to load the bases. Mosley’s fielder’s choice forced Crawford at the plate for the second out but Titcume poked an 0-2 pitch into right center for a single to give her squad a two-run advantage. Simmon Morrow followed with an RBI single to bring home Mosley with the fifth run.
USA threatened in the fifth with a two-out rally against reliever Melanie Roche but came away empty-handed. Lowe reached on an infield single and Vicki Galindo (Union City, Calif.) walked, only to have the right-hander fan Kristie Fox (San Diego, Calif.) to strand both runners.
Five players contributed one hit apiece for the Americans, while Titcume was 2-for-3 and recorded four RBI for Australia. Carpadios and Crawford were both 2-for-3, with Carpadios scoring twice. Wilkins notched the win by tossing four innings, in which she allowed three hits and two runs, and Roche collected the save with three scoreless frames.USA Schutt Elite will play twice on Thursday, taking on the Hurricanes (1-1) at 11:30 a.m. and Venezuela (2-0) at 4:30 p.m.