USA Elite adds two wins
PLANT CITY, FL --- Hollowell tallies 17 Ks in win over Canada; Dean carries U.S. pass China. The USA Elite team notched two more wins on Thursday to move to 5-1 in pool play action as the 1st World University Softball Championship continued. In game one, the pitching of Alicia Hollowell (Suisun, CA) was phenomenal with 17Ks allowing two hits as the U.S. record a 2-0 win over Canada.
Monica Abbott (Salinas, CA) led the way in game two from the circle tossing a one hitter while a three RBI triple from the hot hitting Sara Dean (Valencia, CA) sealed the 3-0 victory against China.
“I sure am glad we have Sara (Dean) along this week because she has been extremely clutch,” said head coach Miller. “She has really made things happen when this team has been fighting at the plate. We scored three runs instead of two this game so hopefully we are on the up swing. Also I have to give credit to Monica (Abbott) and Alicia (Hollowell) and the defense behind her because they did a great job allowing no runs scored.”
After six games, Dean leads the hitting charts batting .438 with seven RBI. Andrea Duran (Selma, CA) lists second batting .389 going 7-for-18. From the circle, the U.S. hurlers have combined for a .34 ERA allowing just four runs in 41 innings pitched.
The U.S. will close round robin play on Friday morning at 10 a.m. in a match up against Guatemala. A definite top four seed, the U.S. will begin playoff action on Saturday evening in either the 3 vs. 4 Game at 6 p.m. or 1 vs. 2 Game at 8 p.m.
Two runs was all the U.S. needed once again as they captured their fourth win of the 1st World University Softball Championship with a 2-0 defeat over Canada. Winning pitcher Hollowell dominated the game allowing just two hits with 17 strikeouts while third baseman Vicky Galindo (Union City, CA) turned on her offense knocking out a 3-for-3 outing with one RBI.
“I felt really good out there today,” said Hollowell. “Heather (Scaglione) called a great game and we really worked to set up the hitters.” “I finally had a chance to get some hits after being in a slump,” said Galindo. “It felt good to get some contact and put some balls on the ground and through the infield.”
Beginning the day with an early 9 a.m. start, Hollowell was on fire retiring the first seven Canadian batters via the strikeout. Moving the ball around every corner of the plate, the 6’2” right handed pitcher earned her second victory of the tournament as the U.S. improved to 4-1.
After leaving a Caitlin Benyi (Scottsdale, AZ) base hit stranded in the first, the U.S. finally starting swinging the bats in the second inning recording two runs on three hits.
A lead off base on balls to Sara Dean (Valencia, CA), Vicky Galindo (Union City, CA) soon sent Dean to home driving a 3-2 pitch to right field for a triple. Her first RBI of the tournament, Galindo also scored thanks to a Heather Scaglione (San Diego, CA) rip up the middle for the 2-0 lead.
A couple hits in the bottom of the third from Andrea Duran (Selma, CA) and Galindo looked to add a run for the U.S., but the arm and defensive skills of Canadian centerfielder Janiva Wylie ended the U.S. drive.
Hollowell stifled the Canadian offense throughout the entire game as they failed to put a runner in scoring position. “Alicia threw a tremendous game today,” said head coach Miller. “Compared to her first game where there were times that she struggled, she was totally in command today. We definitely hit the ball harder, but we still need to create more runs. We gave ourselves more opportunities but just didn’t come through. We are getting better as the week goes on and we have to keep moving in the right direction.”
The dismal offensive spell returned for the U.S. against China in game two, but it was the timely hitting of Dean who capitalized on a bases loaded opportunity in the sixth to give the U.S. the 3-0 win.
On the defensive side, Abbott controlled the game tossing a one-hit performance through seven innings with 11 strikeouts. Slow through the first five, the U.S. connected on just two hits from Dean and Jodie Legaspi (Garden Grove, CA) but never saw a runner in scoring position.
In need of some momentum, the U.S. came out firing in the sixth and took home the win. A one out Benyi single through the left side followed by a stolen base put the first runner in place before a walk to Norrelle Dickson (Orange, CA) juiced the U.S. to score. Duran then drove a single to right field to load the bags before slugger Dean came up huge with the game winning triple.
“We really needed a hit and the bases were loaded so I just told myself to relax,” said Dean. “The coaches told us to get comfortable and swing at good pitches. I went up there just trying to do something because we only had one out and I have been seeing the ball well all week.”