USA Softball Wins Junior Womens Pan Am Championship
USA Softball Wins Junior Women’s Pan Am Championship
Maunabo, Puerto Rico – With a perfect 10-0 record, the USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team won the 2006 Junior Women’s Pan American Championships with a 7-0 victory over hometown favorite Puerto Rico in the championship game. This win clinches the top spot from the Pan American Region for the 2007 ISF Junior Women’s World Championship (19-and-under), which will take place next year in Kutno, Poland, June 20-30.
K’Lee Arredondo (Tempe, Ariz.) laid down a bunt to start off the first inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch. A sacrifice fly by Monica Harrison (Garden Grove, Calif.) plated Arredondo for the first run of the game.
Bianca Mejia (Sylmar, Calif.) and Ashley Hansen (Chandler, Ariz.) turned in back-to-back singles in the top of the second paving the way for Katie Schroeder (Yorba Linda, Calif.) who came through with her second double of the tournament, giving the U.S. a 3-0 advantage. Brittany Lastrapes (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) came through with another sacrifice fly that allowed Schroeder to cross home plate.
Two runs were scored in the third and fourth innings, when Maggie Viefhaus (Pacific, Mo.) doubled and scored off a single by Alissa Haber (Newark, Calif.) and Hansen smacked her second triple of the tournament and scored on a single by Schroeder. Schroeder had team-high three RBI in the championship game.
In her fourth start of the tournament, Ashley Brignac (River Ridge, La.) allowed only two runners, a hit by pitch and double, to reach base. She turned in a tournament-high 14 strikeouts in her first complete game effort and a final record of 4-0.
The team needed only one run in the fifth inning to bring the run-rule into effect. Neena Bryant (Placentia, Calif.) was called on to pinch hit and came through with a double to center field. Tiffany Huff (Saugus, Calif.) who came in at the top of the fifth to play first for Haber, earned the final RBI of the tournament with a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Bryant.
The U.S. was impressive offensively during the entire tournament collecting 127 hits in 46 innings for a .529 batting average. Viefhaus was the offensive team leader with a .750 batting average, 12 hits, 10 runs scored and 11 RBI. Hansen and Mejia tied for a team-high 15 hits, scoring 11 and 13 runs, respectively.
Donna Kerr (San Diego, Calif.) threw a team-high 15 innings in three starts and had 31 strikeouts. Brignac was the leader on the pitching staff with 36 strikeouts, allowing no walks or runs in 14 innings pitched. As a whole, the pitching staff allowed only 14 hits, no earned runs, only one extra base hit and recorded 98 strikeouts.
Mejia, Viefhaus and Brignac all received all-tournament honors for their achievements.