USA women complete pool play at Canadian Open FP International
OKLAHOMA CITY – The USA Softball Women’s National Team completed pool play Saturday morning at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International with wins over the NJCAA All-Stars, Mexico, Canada and the White Rock Renegades the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA softball announced today. Team USA came up with a 4-3 win over the NJCAA All-Stars, topped Mexico 7-0 (five innings), captured an 8-4 win over Canada and defeated the White Rock Renegades 10-0 (three innings). With the wins, Team USA finished pool play with a 6-1 record and will face Canada at 8:30 p.m. PDT for their first playoff game. Fans can view all games from the Canadian Open via live stream and live stats at USASoftball.com.
USA 10, White Rock Renegades 0 (3)
Team USA needed just three innings to cap off pool play at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International, defeating the White Rock Renegades 10-0 on Saturday morning. The Red, White and Blue was led by the hot bat of Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.), who hit her fifth home run of the tournament, going 2-for-2 with five RBI and one home run. From the circle, Jolene Henderson (Elk Grove, Calif.) earned the win for Team USA, pitching a three-inning no-hitter while issuing four strikeouts.
Henderson retired the first three batters with a strikeout to start the game. USA put three runs on the board in the bottom of the first inning after Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) singled and Lauren Gibson (Pasadena, Md.) walked to put two runners on base. Arioto cleared the bases with a home run, putting Team USA up 3-0.
Another one, two, three inning brought USA back to the plate with Jessica Plaza (Huntington Beach, Calif.) setting things off with a single. Plaza would advance to third after an error by the pitcher put McCleney on second base and a single from Raven Chavanne (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) brought Plaza home. Gibson followed with a single to plate McCleney before Arioto connected for a ground rule double to score Chavanne. Gibson would come around to score on a wild pitch to give USA a 7-0 lead after two complete innings.
USA plated three more runs in the bottom of the third to seal the victory after Plaza reached on a leadoff walk and moved to second on a error by the shortstop. A single from McCleney loaded the bases for Chavanne, who hit her second single of the game to score one run. A hit-by-pitch added another run for USA and Sam Fischer (Simi Valley, Calif.) hit a sac fly to left field to score McCleney and end the game via run-rule.
USA 8, Canada 4
In a rematch of the 2014 General Tire World Cup of Softball title game, USA captured an 8-4 win over Canada with the help of the long ball from Gibson, Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) and Arioto, who hit two balls out of the park.
Canada got on the board first in the bottom of the first inning after producing three hits. Megan Gurski dealt the first RBI of the game, hitting a double to plate Jennifer Yee. Another run would cross the plate for Canada in the bottom of the second inning after Joey Lye hit a single to plate Megan Timpf, who had reached on a single earlier in the inning. After two complete innings, Team USA trailed 2-0.
Both teams were held scoreless in the third inning, but the Canadian lead would not last long as two home runs sparked a three-run fourth inning for Team USA. Chavanne started the at-bat with a single and was followed by a home run from Gibson to tie the ball game. Arioto followed up with a solo home run to put Team USA up 3-2. Canada would tie the game in the bottom of the fourth after Victoria Hayward scored on a triple from Yee.
Stewart led off the top of the fifth inning with a bang as she punched her first home run of the summer to regain the lead for the Red, White and Blue. An error by the first baseman put McCleney on first and she advanced to third base on a single from Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.). A sac fly from Chavanne scored McCleney to give USA the 5-3 lead.
Both sides would score additional runs in the seventh inning, with Arioto connecting for her second home run of the game to score three runs for Team USA and extend the lead to 8-3. Canada would close the lead in the bottom half of the inning with a solo home run from Yee, but USA held on to capture the 8-4 win.
USA utilized four pitchers during the game with Henderson getting the start. Henderson pitched three innings, issuing one strikeout, one walk, seven hits and two runs. Jaclyn Traina (Naples, Fla.) entered in relief in the bottom of the fourth inning, issuing three hits and one run through two innings of work. Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif.) entered in the bottom of the sixth and Sara Nevins (Pineallas Park, Fla.) closed out the game in the seventh inning. Traina collected the win for Team USA.
USA 4, NJCAA All-Stars 3
Team USA came from a 1-0 deficit in the first inning to take a 4-3 win over the NJCAA All-Stars. Sam Fischer and Chavanne provided the offense for Team USA with Fischer going 3-for-3 with two RBI, including a solo home run, while Chavanne went 3-for-4 with one run scored.
The NJCAA All-Stars got on the board first after a solo home run from Kate James gave the team an early lead over the U.S. The lead would not last long, as Taylor Hoagland (Flower Mound, Texas) came around to score for the U.S. off a single from Plaza. USA's starting pitcher Traina retired the NJCAA All-Stars with three strikeouts to end the second inning with the game tied at one run apiece.
USA took the lead in the top of the fourth inning with a solo home run from Fischer. A leadoff walk to the NJCAA All-Stars put a runner on base in the bottom of the fourth, but two groundouts and a strikeout kept them from scoring another run. The game became tied in the bottom of the fifth inning after a leadoff walk to Courtney Shields put a runner on for the NJCAA All-Stars. Henderson entered the circle in relief for Traina before an error from Fischer at shortstop put two runners on base with no outs. Henderson quickly issued a strikeout to the next batter, but a wild pitch plated Shields and tied the ball game.
USA regained the lead in the top of the sixth inning after Chavanne led off with a single and stole second base. Chavanne advanced to third base off a fly ball to right field and came around to score on a single from Fischer, her third of the game. The NJCAA All-Stars would get another base runner in the bottom of the sixth with a one out single from Brooklyn Clark, but a strikeout from Henderson and a groundout to Kellie Fox (San Diego, Calif.) at shortstop ended the threat.
An insurance run was tacked on in the top of the seventh inning for USA when McCleney singled with two outs and stole second base. A single from Moultrie plated McCleney to put Team USA up 4-2 heading into the bottom half of the seventh. The NJCAA All-Stars made the game interesting in their last at-bat, bringing it to a one-run ball game after Kori Benson reached base with a walk. An overthrow by Henderson from the circle brought Benson around to score, prompting a pitching change for USA as Moore entered the circle. With the tying run on third base, a line out to Hallie Wilson (Tustin, Calif.) and a groundout to Fox at shortstop ended the game with USA taking the 4-3 win.
Henderson earned the win for the U.S., pitching two and one-third innings with three strikeouts, one hit and one run allowed. Traina collected eight strikeouts in four innings of work, issuing two hits, two walks and two runs while Moore earned the save.
USA 7, Mexico 0 (five innings)
Team USA's offense came alive again as a three-run home run from Arioto propelled the U.S. to a 7-0 (five innings) win over Mexico. Chavanne also continued to shine in the batter's box, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored.
Moore started in the circle for the U.S., getting the first two batters to groundout before an obstruction from the catcher put Brandi Melero on base for Mexico. Moore shut down the threat before it could begin as she issued her first strikeout of the game to bring the U.S. to the plate. A leadoff walk to Moultrie and a single from Chavanne put two speedy U.S. runners on base until Arioto collected her seventh home run of the summer to clear the bases. Fischer quickly followed with a solo home run, giving USA a 4-0 lead after one complete inning.
Mexico would get another base runner in the top of the second inning as Erika Garcia singled to right field with two outs, but a groundout to Gibson at second base kept Mexico off the board. McCleney got things started for the Red, White and Blue in the bottom of the second inning with a leadoff walk and came around to score on a double from Moultrie, who was thrown out as she attempted to go to third base. Chavanne punched her second hit of the game with a single to center field and advanced to second base after Arioto was hit by a pitch. A wild pitch moved both runners an additional base before a walk to Fischer loaded the bases. A passed ball plated Chavanne and a wild pitch plated Arioto to give the U.S. a 7-0 lead.
Two runners would get on base in the top of the third inning for Mexico as Tatiana Alcala and Marissa Bravo hit back-to-back infield singles with one out, but a strikeout from Moore and a pop fly to Fox at shortstop ended the rally. USA was retired in order in the bottom of the third and Moore kept Mexico off the bases in the top of the fourth inning to keep the game at 7-0, USA. The Red, White and Blue put two runners on base in the bottom half of the fourth inning after Chavanne singled to center field, but a fielder's choice from Gibson got the speedy Chavanne out at second. A walk to Wilson put the second base runner on, but a fly ball to left field kept the runners from crossing the plate.
Needing just three outs to secure the run-rule win, Team USA did just that as Moore issued two strikeouts and a groundout.
Team USA finished pool play at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship with a 6-1 record, their sole loss coming at the hands of Japan. They will return for their first playoff game tonight as they face Canada at 8:30 p.m. PDT. You can follow all of the action live by visiting 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.