USA Schutt Elite weathers Hurricanes, 4-0
IRVINE, Calif. - Alicia Hollowell (Suisun, Calif.) twirled a four-hitter and registered eight strikeouts to lift USA Schutt Elite to a 4-0 win over the Hurricanes on Thursday morning. Clinging to a 1-0 lead, the Red, White and Blue tacked on three insurance runs in the fifth to secure the victory. USA Schutt Elite improved to 2-1 at the Champions Cup and will next face Venezuela (2-0) later today at 4:30 p.m.
Caitlin Lowe (Tustin, Calif.) reached on a single in the bottom of the first and moved to second on a sacrifice by Norrelle Dickson (Orange, Calif.). Lowe swiped third base for her team-leading 10th theft in 10 opportunities and scored on Kristie Fox’s (San Diego, Calif.) one-out single into left field. Emily Zaplatosch (Scottsdale, Ariz.) ripped a base-hit with one down in the second and advanced on a wild pitch by Michelle Turner. After issuing a walk to Vanessa Iapala (San Diego, Calif.), Turner worked out of the jam by fanning Caitlin Benyi (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and having Lowe fly out to left.
Dickson legged out an infield hit to open the third and was bunted into scoring position by Vicki Galindo (Union City, Calif.). However, Dickson was gunned down trying to take third on a perfect relay from catcher Suzy Brazney to Danielle Kaminaka and Turner countered with a strikeout of Fox.
Randi Berg delivered the Hurricanes’ second hit off Hollowell with a flare into left to start the fourth and reached second on Benyi’s throwing error after she snared Ashley Herrera’s pop-up. Hollowell stranded the runner by setting down Kaminaka (fly out) and Kristen Dedmon (groundout). Sara Dean (Valencia, Calif.) singled to short in the home portion of the frame and Andrea Duran (Selma, Calif.) followed with a knock up the middle. Zaplatosch dropped down a bunt to move her teammates into scoring position before Turner fanned Iapala and Benyi to keep her team’s deficit at 1-0.
Lowe was plunked by a pitch at the outset of the fifth and wound up on third courtesy of Dickson’s bunt and some smart base-running. Galindo punched an infield single to bring across Lowe and Fox’s grounder was thrown away by the third baseman, allowing USA runners to occupy second and third with one out. Dean lifted a single into shallow left to increase her club’s lead to 3-0, with Fox advancing to third. A sacrifice fly to right by Duran moved USA Schutt Elite ahead by four runs.
In the seventh, Kaminaka laced a one-out single into left and raced over to third on a two-out base-hit from Brazney. Hollowell closed the game by having Kelly Wardein pop-up to Galindo. Paced by a 2-for-3 outing from Dean, the first seven hitters in the USA lineup contributed at least one hit.