General Tire World Cup of Softball IX kicks off
IRVINE, Calif. – Fans on the west coast experienced some of the world's best softball Monday night at the General Tire World Cup of Softball IX the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball announced today. Six teams opened up tournament play while Mexico and Team USA faced off in a pre-tournament exhibition game in which the U.S. captured a 7-0 (five-inning) win.
"It was exciting to see the girls face off in their first international game of the summer," said Head Coach Ken Eriksen. "Our veterans did a great job of leading the team with Valerie Arioto, Taylor Hoagland and Michelle Moultrie all coming up with big hits. Our veterans helped us settle in and we saw some pretty good stuff out of our pitching staff in getting out of situations. I'm really excited to see Jolene (Henderson) break in with the National Team and she did a phenomenal job in getting out of situations as well. We've got an opportunity to get better tomorrow and we're going to have to take advantage of it."
Exhibition: USA 7, Mexico 0 (5)
The U.S. faced off against their first international opponent of the 2014 season in an exhibition matchup against Mexico to cap off the first night of the General Tire World Cup of Softball IX. The Red, White and Blue used a four-run explosion in the fourth inning to help propel Team USA to a 7-0 win in five innings.
USA got started early as Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) hit a single to center field to plate Raven Chavanne (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) who had reached on an error by Mexico's shortstop. The U.S. was kept silence on the base paths until the fourth inning when Arioto reached on another Mexico error before Taylor Hoagland (Flower Mound, Texas) sent a rocket over the left field fence to put the U.S. up 3-0.
Mexico threatened to score in the top of the fourth inning as Ericka Garcia hit an infield single before an error by Fischer put two runners on base for Mexico. Jolene Henderson (Elk Grove, Calif.), who entered for USA's starter Jaclyn Traina (Naples, Fla.) retired the threat with a strikeout and popup to end the inning.
Team USA continued their offense in the bottom of the fourth as a walk to Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) and a Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) single put two runners in scoring position for Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) Moultrie delivered with a two-run RBI triple to extend the U.S. lead to 5-0.
Arioto continued to shine at the plate in the bottom of the fifth as she connected for a double to plate Kellie Fox (San Diego, Calif.), who had entered as a pinch runner for Sam Fischer (Simi Valley, Calif.) who reached on a walk. Another walk to Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) put two runners on for USA before Destinee Martinez (Corona, Calif.) singled to left field to plate Arioto and end the game via run-rule.
Team USA got the win thanks in large part to Traina's six-strikeout performance. Traina gave up just three hits over three and one-third shutout innings. Henderson closed out the game with two strikeouts and one hit in one and two-third innings.
Estela Pinon took the loss for Mexico, lasting just three innings with three walks and one run allowed.
Game Three: Canada 11, Japan 4 (5)
Canada opened up the General Tire World Cup of Softball IX with an 11-4 (5) win over reigning champion Japan. Canada scored four runs in the fourth on Canada scored in the fourth on a fielder's choice, an RBI single by Jennifer Yee, a sacrifice fly by Kaleigh Rafter, and an RBI single by Megan Gurski. Rafter racked up three RBIs on two hits for Canada.
Sara Groenewegen recorded the win for Canada. She allowed two runs over one and two-third innings, surrendering just three hits. For Japan, Yamato Fujita lasted two innings on the rubber for Japan before being removed. Fujita allowed four hits and four runs.
In the bottom of the second, Canada grabbed the early lead after scoring four runs. A solo home run by Rafter started the inning off before Canada tacked on more runs when Gurski and Thomas scored on a three-run home run by Erika Polidori.
Japan brought home two runs in the third inning, and matched that run total in the fourth. In the third, Japan scored on a two-run double by Nozomi Nagasaki, scoring Misato Kawano and Misa Okubo. Okubo got on base two times in the game for Japan. She scored one run and had one RBI and singled in the fourth inning.
Canada piled on three more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Yee singled, bringing home Megan Timpf and Victoria Hayward to start the inning. That was followed up by Rafter's single, bringing home Larissa Franklin.
Game Two: Venezuela 6, Chinese Taipei 3
Venezuela and Chinese Taipei exchanged the lead five times in game two, but Venezuela ended up on top with a 6-3 win over Chinese Taipei.
Venezuela finally managed to grab the lead after a strong sixth inning, scoring on a two-run home run by Yuruby Alicart. Alicart went a perfect 2-2 at the plate for Venezuela.
Alondra Perez recorded the win for Venezuela. She allowed one run over three innings, striking out one with no walks and two hits. For Chinese Taipei, Ying Hsin Lin took the loss with two strikeouts and allowing two runs.
Game One: Philippines 3, Venezuela 0
Francesca Foti kept Venezuela off the board during her seven innings of work to lead the Philippines to a 3-0 win over Venezuela in game one of the General Tire World Cup of Softball IX. Foti allowed five hits, no walks and struck out one.
Morgan Stuart got a hit in each of her two at bats. She singled in the first inning and doubled in the third inning.
Maria Gomez was the game's losing pitcher. She lasted just one-third of an inning, walked none, struck out none, and allowed one run.
Follow along with the entire General Tire World Cup of Softball by visiting USASoftball.com, where live stats, streaming and game times can be found.
Headquartered in Plant City, Florida (USA), the ISF is a member of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), the world governing body for the sport which is recognized by the International Olympic Committee and SportAccord (formerly the General Association of International Sports Federations). Softball (women’s fast pitch) made its Olympic debut at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. There are 127 affiliated countries in the ISF and millions of participants in the sport worldwide.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 165,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2.5 million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of the only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles including the last seven consecutive as well as claimed six World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com.