USA earns two shutout wins in Findlay behind flawless performances from the circle
Findlay, Ohio - The U.S. pitching staff was lights out in Findlay, Ohio as the 2014 USA Softball Women's National Team (WNT) Selection Camp continued its exhibition tour the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball announced today. In the first game of the evening, Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) went 3-for-3 at the plate to help lead USA to a 3-0 win, while Destinee Martinez (Corona, Calif.) was 3-for-2 with two RBI to launch the U.S. to a 5-0 victory in game two.
"We were ready and excited to get back out on the field together tonight," said Lauren Gibson. "We had a few hiccups defensively, but we were able to come back together as a team."
Behind the strong bat of Kelsey Stewart, Team USA produced a 3-0 shutout win in their first game of the doubleheader. Stewart ended the game going 3-for-3 at the plate, including a double and one RBI.
USA was held scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning as Sam Fischer (Simi Valley, Calif.) led off the side with a single to left field. A misstep by the shortstop put an additional runner on base for the U.S., bringing Stewart to the plate who would single to plate Fischer. Rhea Taylor (Atlanta, Ga.) then collected an RBI after grounding out to the shortstop to plate Nicole Hudson (Webb City, Mo.).
Aimee Creger (Yukon, Okla.) was lights out in her appearance in the circle, pitching the first four innings of the game. Creger held the Ohio All-Stars hitless over her four innings of work while striking out three.
The U.S. would add their final run of the game in the bottom of the sixth after Stewart came around to score after punching her second single of the game. Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) connected for the RBI single to centerfield, giving the U.S. a 3-0 lead.
Cheridan Hawkins (Anderson, Calif.) closed out the game for USA, pitching the final three frames in relief. Hawkins allowed just two hits while walking one and striking out eight.
The U.S. pitching staff continued to dominate in the second game of the evening as Jaclyn Traina (Naples, Fla.) and Jolene Henderson (Elk Grove, Calif.) combined for a 5-0 shutout win.
Team USA got on the board in the bottom of the third inning after five-consecutive walks were issued to the U.S. lineup to plate Lauren Gibson (Pasadena, Md.) for the first run of the game. The next run came via a Martinez groundout to shortstop before McCleney hit a two-run single to centerfield to clear the bases.
The U.S. held a 4-0 lead until the bottom of the fifth when Jessica Plaza (Huntington Beach, Calif.) doubled to left field with two outs. Kellie Fox (San Diego, Calif.), who entered to pinch run for Plaza, then scored on a single by Martinez.
The Ohio All-Stars lineup had no answer for the U.S. pitching staff as they managed just one hit off Traina, who struck out five during her four innings of work. Henderson threw the final two innings of the game, giving up just two hits while striking out two.
Up next for the Red, White and Blue is their final doubleheader exhibition game of the Selection Camp against the Virginia All-Stars on Thursday, June 19 in Purcellville, Va. The first game of the doubleheader begins at 6:30 p.m. ET and live stats can be found at USASoftball.com.
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.