USA Schutt Elite destroys Slammers at Champions Cup, 10-0
IRVINE, Calif. USA Schutt Elite opened the inaugural Champions Cup with a 10-0 domination of the Indiana Slammers on Wednesday afternoon. The game was stopped during the fourth inning due to the mercy rule. Led by Kristie Fox (San Diego, Calif.), who was 3-for-3 with three runs and three runs batted in, five players notched multiple-hit outings as part of USA’s 14-hit outburst. Brooke Mitchell (Pasadena, Calif.) fired a one-hitter with seven strikeouts and did not allow a runner past first base to improve to 2-1 on the tour. USA Schutt Elite will next face Australia tonight at 7 p.m. looking to avenge a 1-0 setback last weekend at the Canada Cup.
Jay Miller’s charges wasted little time in taking control of the game, putting up five runs on six hits in their first turn at the plate. Caitlin Lowe (Tustin, Calif.) slapped a leadoff single and raced down to second on the play when she caught the defense napping. Norrelle Dickson (Orange, Calif.) followed with an infield hit to give USA runners on the corners and moved into scoring position with a stolen base. Pitcher Jessica Wilson caught Vicki Galindo (Union City, Calif.) looking on strikes before Fox poked a base-hit to bring across Lowe with the opening run. Andrea Duran (Selma, Calif.) unleashed a two-run triple to the fence in center for a 3-0 cushion and Sara Dean (Valencia, Calif.) roped an RBI double and took third on a fielding error by the outfielder. Vanessa Iapala (San Diego, Calif.) brought the count to 5-0 with her club’s fourth straight hit, a smash up the middle that plated Dean.
The onslaught continued in the second, as Lowe legged out a hit, stole second and occupied third on Dickson’s bunt. After Dickson swiped second, Fox drove in two more runs with a hard single into center field with one down to boost the advantage to 7-0. Dean brought across her teammate with another base-knock to help the Red, White and Blue finish the frame with three runs on four hits to create an eight-run bulge.
Held scoreless in the third stanza, USA closed the game in the fourth with two runs on three hits. Fox and Duran reached on infield hits to start things off and Dean executed a surprise bunt to load the sacks with none out. Iapala lofted a sacrifice fly for a 9-0 margin and Caitlin Benyi (Scottsdale, Ariz.) drew a walk to fill the bases again and chase Wilson from the circle. Jackie Rinehart (Reno, Nev.) delivered an RBI grounder off reliever Kate Witham to score Duran with the 10th run to end the game prematurely.
The duo of Dean (3-for-3, two RBI, one run) and Dickson (3-for-3, two runs, two stolen bases) also provided solid punch to the offense, while Lowe (2-for-2, two runs) and Duran (2-for-3, two runs, two RBI) enjoyed strong starts to the tournament. Mitchell gave up a flare to right, walked two batters and registered seven K in twirling the shutout.