USA Softball records 100th win in World Championship play
Beijing, China---It took only five innings for the USA Softball Women’s National Team to record its 100th win in World Championship play as they defeated Great Britain, 7-0, to remain unbeaten. The U.S. recorded its first win on February 14, 1965 in Melbourne, Australia with a 1-0 win over New Zealand who happens to be the next opponent for the U.S. in this World Championship.
Jamie Southern (Clovis, Calif.), making her first career start in a World Championship, was dominate in the circle fanning nine while allowing only one hit in five innings of work. She had a no-hitter through 4 2/3 innings before allowing a bloop single in the final inning.
Despite being beat 14-0 by the U.S. last month at the II World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City, Great Britain was not intimidated in the slightest. For the first two innings they held the U.S. hitless but in the third things began to change.
Jenny Topping (Whittier, Calif.) led off the inning with a stand up double to right center and Tairia Flowers (Tucson, Ariz.) moved her to third with a single through the left side. Laura Berg (Santa Fe Springs, Calif.) then caused havoc with the Great Britain defense as she hit a hard grounder that was misplayed by the shortstop who then threw home in an attempt to gun down Topping but was too late. Flowers continued to third and scored when the throw from the catcher went into left field allowing Berg to advance to third.
With a 2-0 lead the U.S. continued its offensive attack as Caitlin Lowe (Tustin, Calif.) lined a shot back up the middle that was too hot for pitcher Heather Brown to handle. With Lowe running on the next pitch, Natasha Watley (Irvine, Calif.) laced a line drive that was knocked down by the second baseman to freeze Berg at third. A base running miscue by Lowe, who continued to third, ended in a run down and resulted in the first out of the inning. Just when it appeared the momentum had been broken Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.) stepped to the plate and launched her second home run of the tournament to give the U.S. a 5-0 lead.
Looking to push the game a full seven innings, Great Britain called on Townsend to shut down the U.S. lineup but a two out rally provided the Red, White and Blue with the runs it would need to end the game in five innings. Lowe and Watley both reached on singles and Mendoza reached on a walk to load the bases for Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, Calif.) who came through with a single to right field that scored the final two runs of the game.
The U.S. will look to continue its unbeaten streak in pool play on Wednesday when it faces off with New Zealand tonight at 9:30 p.m. CT.
*Great Britain’s Heather Brown did something no other pitcher has been able to accomplish against the USA during the 2006 World Championships – she retired the U.S. in order in the first two innings.
*The USA’s only other meeting with Great Britain in an ISF World Championship came during the 1994 ISF World Championships in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada – the U.S. won the game 14-0 in five innings.
*The USA Softball Women’s National Team has now started the past nine ISF Women’s World Championships with a 4-0 record dating back to the 1974 ISF World Championships in Stratford, Conn. During that span, 34 of the 36 wins have been by shutout.
*Laura Berg ended her seven game hitting streak in international competition, going 0-1 against Great Britain – the streak began on July 15 during the II World Cup of Softball against Australia.
* Jessica Mendoza, with her three-run homerun, has now recorded at least one hit in 17-of-20 games this year.