USA Schutt Elite Cruises Past All-American Softball, 12-0
IRVINE, Calif. - Staked to a four-run lead before she even stepped into the pitching circle, Brooke Mitchell (Pasadena, Texas) fired a one-hit shutout against All-American Softball on Friday morning and her teammates supported her with a tournament-high 12 runs and 17 hits. The game was shortened to five innings because of the mercy rule. USA Schutt Elite (4-1) looks to secure the number one seed in its pool at the Champions Cup with a victory over Chinese Taipei (4-0) at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon.
Sending eight batters to the plate, USA shot out of the gates quickly with four runs on five hits in the top of the first. Caitlin Lowe (Tustin, Calif.) opened the contest with a single and promptly stole second base before Norrelle Dickson (Orange, Calif.) reached on a bunt for runners on the corners. Vicki Galindo (Union City, Calif.) roped a two-run double to straightaway center to drive in her teammates and then swiped third. Soon after, Sara Dean (Valencia, Calif.) lofted a sacrifice fly into right for a 3-0 lead. Andrea Duran (Selma, Calif.) made it four hits in the frame with a two-out base-hit and advanced on a passed ball and Caitlin Benyi (Scottsdale, Ariz.) ripped an RBI single to bring in another run. Benyi wound up third as a result of a terrible relay throw that nailed the backstop before Jodie Legaspi (Garden Grove, Calif.) grounded out.
The offense continued in the second for the Americans, as two more hits and an error paved the way to a 6-0 advantage. Jackie Rinehart (Reno, Nev.) slapped a single and took second on an errant throw before stealing third. Lowe followed with a bunt and nabbed second to give her squad a pair of runners in scoring position. Dickson chipped in with an RBI grounder and Galindo poked a sacrifice fly to left for the six-run cushion.
USA Schutt Elite squandered a chance to pad its lead by leaving the bases loaded in the fourth. Dickson and Galindo collected back-to-back one-out singles before Kristie Fox (San Diego, Calif.) filled the sacks on a fielder’s choice in which Dickson beat the throw to third base. Dean forced her teammate at the dish with a grounder and All-American Softball escaped the jam without further damage when Duran’s grounder erased Dean at second base.
Six runs and seven hits in the fifth brought Miller’s team to a 12-0 rout and closed the game early. Benyi improved to 3-for-3 in the game with a leadoff double in the fifth and scored on Legaspi’s base-knock into left field. A sacrifice from Rhinehart pushed Legaspi to third and another run was tacked on the board following a wild pitch to bring the count to 8-0. Lowe recorded her third hit with one down and amazingly scored on Dickson’s bunt to third base. With Dickson safe at first and Lowe attempting to take third, All-American Softball threw the ball away, allowing both runners to come across for a 10-spot. Galindo rocked another two-bagger to center and Fox delivered a single and took second on the relay throw for a couple more runners in scoring position. Duran then jacked her squad’s fourth double with two down to score her teammates and build the lead to a dozen runs. The carnage stopped when Benyi was retired for the first time.
Four different players tallied three hits apiece for USA Schutt Elite: Lowe (3-for-4, three runs), Dickson (3-for-4, two runs, RBI), Galindo (3-for-3, three RBI, two runs, two doubles) and Benyi (3-for-4, one run, one RBI). Mitchell (3-1) surrendered only a third-inning single and finished with nine strikeouts and zero walks.