Nuveman Powers USA Softball to 15-0 shutout
Beijing, China – The USA Softball Women’s National Team stepped onto the other side of the century mark securing their 101st win in the World Championships with a 15-0 shutout victory over New Zealand at the XI ISF Women’s World Championships. The team improves to 5-0 in pool play which secures a spot in the playoff rounds. The team has allowed only one run in 28 innings played thus far in the championship.
The U.S. wasted no time getting on base with the top of the lineup drawing three consecutive walks to load the bases. An error at first base plated Caitlin Lowe (Tustin, Calif.), giving the U.S. its first run of the game. Stacey Nuveman (La Verne, Calif.) belted a single to right center to put up two more runs. The Red, White and Blue capitalized on two more New Zealand errors to put runners on and push their lead to 4-0 after the first inning.
Monica Abbott (Salinas, Calif.) started in the circle for the U.S. and allowed a leadoff single to right center but two strikeouts and a perfect strike by Nuveman to second on an attempted steal kept New Zealand off the board.
Natasha Watley (Irvine, Calif.) led off for the team in the second inning, reaching on an error by the pitcher. Watley, a perfect 2-2 in stolen bases entering this game, encountered her first caught stealing when she was called out at second. With Crystl Bustos (Canyon County, Calif.) on first after hitting a single to left field, Nuveman belted a homerun over the center field fence to give her team a 6-0 cushion.
With two outs and two runners on, the U.S. offense exploded for seven runs in the third inning, the most by the offense in any inning of this championship. With Lovie Jung (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and Laura Berg (Santa Fe Springs, Calif.) in scoring position after turning in singles, Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.) singled to left field for two runs. Bustos drove in Mendoza with her second double of the tournament before Nuveman, who finished the game with six RBI off three hits drove her second home run over the left center field fence to clear the bases and give the team an 11-0 lead. Jung drove in the 12th run of the game scoring Andrea Duran (Selma, Calif.) who reached on base with a single. After drawing a walk, Jennie Finch (La Mirada, Calif.) scored the final run of the inning when Berg reached on an error by the pitcher.
New Zealand responded with their own two-out rally in the third, putting up back-to-back hits but a groundout to Abbott kept the shutout within reach.
In the fourth, Duran drove in her second run of the tournament with a single down the right field line that scored Mendoza who drew a walk. Needing only one run to end the game due to the run rule, Vicky Galindo (Union City, Calif.), pinch hitting for Finch, drew a bases loaded walk to score Jenny Topping (Whittier, Calif.) who had singled earlier in the inning.
The team kept New Zealand off the board in the fourth, securing their fifth win and fourth shutout of this World Championship.
Abbott earned her first career win in a World Championship, facing 15 batters, allowing three hits and striking out five. Mendoza continues to produce offensively as she did last month at the II World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City. She leads the team with nine RBI off eight hits and ties a team-high seven runs and two homeruns.
The team will face host China on Friday, September 1, at 6:30 a.m. (CT).