Junior Women run rule Great Britain to open ISF World Championship
BRAMPTON, Ont. – It just took four innings for the USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team to defeat Great Britain 10-0 and move to 1-0 in pool play at the International Softball Federation (ISF) X Junior Women’s World Championships (JWWC) the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and USA Softball announced today. Cheridan Hawkins (Anderson, Calif.) picked up the win in her first international appearance, throwing three complete innings before Paige McDuffee (The Woodlands, Texas) closed out the game.
USA jumped to an early lead in the first inning when Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif.) hit an RBI triple that scored Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.). Andrea Hawkins (Bay City, Texas) started it off for the Red, White and Blue in the bottom of the second with a single and Danica Mercado (Temecula, Calif.) brought her home with a double. Team USA kept their offense going, scoring two more runs to give the U.S. a 4-0 lead after two innings.
“We were all excited to play our first international game today,” said USA pitcher Cheridan Hawkins. “I felt a bit of nerves coming into the game, but I went in the circle with a game plan to attack the zone and give my offense a chance to hit.”
Team USA would add six more runs in the bottom of the third to set up the run-rule victory. Designated hitter Sierra Lawrence (Snellville, Ga.) collected the first RBI of the inning, scoring Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.), who pinch ran for Jessica Plaza (Huntington Beach, Calif.). Plaza had led off the bottom of the third with a walk, her second of the day. A. Hawkins collected her second hit of the game to score Lawrence, followed by a McCleney sac-fly to left field to score A. Hawkins. The U.S. pushed the lead to 10-0 after Mercado scored on a wild pitch and Mysha Sataraka (Honolulu, Hawaii) hit a two-run double to score Romero and Emily Crane (Troy, Mo.).
C. Hawkins shut down the Great Britain batters for the first three innings, retiring the nine batters faced via strikeout. McDuffee entered in relief in the top of the fourth to face the final batters of the game. McDuffee retired the first two batters via groundout before Great Britain’s Laura Evans collected her team’s first hit of the game with a double to left center. McDuffee quickly responded with a groundout to end the game.
“Our girls came out ready to play today,” said Head Coach Tairia Flowers. “There were a lot of emotions coming in to the game with it being our first game of the tournament. Cheridan did a good job of keeping runners off the base path and she set the tone for us. Our offense also stepped up by scoring in the first inning and the girls carried that momentum with them the rest of the game.”
The Red, White and Blue will return to action at the ISF X JWWC on July 2 when they face the Czech Republic at 9:30 a.m. EDT. Please visit USASoftball.com to follow live stats and see photos from all of USA’s games at the ISF World Championship.