Brampton, Ont. — The defending World Championship Gold Medal winning team moved to 4-0 on Wednesday evening with two victories from the Brampton Fairgrounds Ballpark the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today. A 15-0 (three inning) decision over Puerto Rico and 4-0 win over host country Canada put the U.S. as the strong favorite for the No. 1 seed with two games left in pool play action.
The U.S. pitching staff continues to stifle its opponents, allowing just three hits and no runs in 18 innings of work. Outscoring opponents 42-0, the U.S. is batting .524 as a team and has a .915 slugging percentage.
“It was a long day for the girls,” said Head Coach Tairia Flowers. “We came out and hit the ball and our pitchers gave great performances today. Jailyn in the first game did extremely well and Cheridan threw a one-hitter against a good Canadian squad. We can’t ask for anything more from our girls.”
GAME 1 – USA 15 Puerto Rico 0 (three innings)
The U.S. recorded its third run-rule victory of the International Softball Federation (ISF) X Junior Women’s World Championship (JWWC) with a 15-0 (three inning) win over Puerto Rico. It was an strong offensive outing for the Red, White and Blue as the U.S. combined for three home runs, including a grand slam by Lauren Young (Anaheim, Calif.). Jailyn Ford (Hot Springs, Va.) earned her first victory in the JWWC, pitching all three innings and issuing five strikeouts.
Puerto Rico’s Elicia Doracio started the game off with a single and advanced to second on a stolen base, but a fly out to left field and two straight strikeouts ended the only threat by the Puerto Rican offense.
The U.S. started the first inning with a triple by Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) and Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif.) followed with a single to score Stewart. A single by Mysha Sataraka (Honolulu, Hawaii) and a walk to Emily Crane (Troy, Mo.) brought up Young, who cleared the bases with a grand slam.
Up 5-0, the U.S. continued to bring the heat as an additional three runs scored before Sataraka cleared the bases again for her third three-run home run of the JWWC. With the three-run blast, the U.S. entered the second inning up 11-0.
Erin Shireman (Pearland, Texas) started the second inning with a single and was brought home after Sierra Lawrence (Snellville, Ga.) connected for a single. The U.S. would add another run via a single by Stewart before being retired to enter the third inning.
Ford continued her dominance in the circle in the third inning. With a groundout to Young and two consecutive strikeouts, Team USA needed two runs to force the run-rule in the bottom of the third.
Crane started off the inning with a walk, but a popup by Young failed to advance the runner to second. Shireman sent a long ball over the centerfield fence to end the game at 15-0.
GAME 2 – USA 4 Canada 0
In game two, Cheridan Hawkins (Anderson, Calif.) threw a one-hitter as the U.S. grabbed a 4-0 victory in front of a strong Canadian crowd. The U.S. tallied four runs throughout the game thanks to Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.), Stewart and Sataraka, who each had one hit.
It took a while for the offense to get rolling as both squads failed to produce a base runner until the third inning. Young and Danica Mercado (Temecula, Calif.) started the bottom of the third with back-to-back up the middle singles. McCleney hit a shot to the outfield, bringing in Young and Mercado and giving the U.S. a 2-0 lead. McCleney advanced to third on a wild pitch and was brought home via a Stewart sac-fly.
It was a pitcher’s duel in the fourth and fifth inning as both teams were retired in order. Canada made things interesting in the top of the sixth as Holly Spears sent a ball up the middle to gain Canada’s first base runner of the game. C. Hawkins and the U.S. defense quickly responded with a strikeout and popup to left field to end the Canadian threat early.
“Our defense did an outstanding job today,” said C. Hawkins. “They really had my back and they gave me a lot of confidence to throw better. Once our hitters made the adjustments we needed to make we started to produce and they did a great job.”
The bats came alive again in the sixth inning for Team USA as they added an additional run to push their lead to 4-0. A leadoff triple from Stewart, her second of the day, sparked the team wearing blue and Sataraka then punched her 12 RBI of the JWWC when she hit an RBI single to plate Stewart.
C. Hawkins earned her second victory at the JWWC, pitching all seven innings for the Red, White and Blue. She only gave up one hit while issuing eight strikeouts.
The U.S. will close out round-robin action on Thursday (July 4) when they take the field at 9:30 a.m. (EST) against Korea and 12:30 p.m. (EST) against New Zealand. Live stats for all USA games and live streaming will be available via USASoftball.com.