USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team Shuts Out Venezuela 8-0
Caguas, Puerto Rico – The USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team walked away with an 8-0 shutout over Venezuela in the first game of competition at the II Junior Women’s Pan American qualifier. A combined no-hitter by the pitching staff and nine hits offensively paved the way for the U.S. to open up round-robin play 1-0.
Ashley Brignac (River Ridge, La.) started in the circle, keeping the bases clear in the first inning with two strikeouts and a groundout to shortstop.
K’Lee Arredondo (Tempe, Ariz.) led off for the team and hit a single to centerfield to put the first base runner on for the USA. Two stolen bases moved her to third and a passed ball allowed Arredondo to reach home for the first run of the game.
Bianca Mejia (Sylmar, Calif.) put up the first extra base hit of the tournament with a double to left field but was left stranded at third after three consecutive U.S. groundouts. She didn’t back down and in her next at bat hit a triple to left field for two RBI, edging the U.S. lead to 4-0. She finished the game going 2-for-2 with two RBI.
Megan Elliott (Prince Frederick, MD) came in relief in the top of the fourth for Brignac who finished the game with six strikeouts to earn the win. Elliott struggled to get the ball in the strike zone issuing a walk to her first batter; however, a double play cleared the base baths.
With two outs in the fourth, Arredondo started a rally that would stretch the U.S. lead. She was hit by a pitch and reached third off two stolen bases to finish the game with four stolen bases. Brittany Lastrapes (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) drove a ball to center field for a triple plating Arredondo. Neena Bryant (Placentia, Calif.) who reached on a hit by pitch scored when Maggie Viefhaus (Pacific, Miss.), on a 1-1 count, crushed the ball over the right field fence giving Team USA an 8-0 lead. Viefhaus went 2-for-2 in the game with three RBI and two runs scored.
Elliott once again allowed the first batter reach base with a hit by pitch but was backed up by solid defense with another infield double play. A popup to catcher Ashley Hansen (Chandler, Ariz.) ended the game in five innings. The pitching staff of Brignac and Elliott combined for the no-hitter and did not allow a runner past first base.
The U.S. will play two games tomorrow against Colombia at 12:30 PM and Puerto Rico at 5:00 PM.