WHITEHORSE, Y.T. – The USA Softball Women’s National team moved to 2-0 in pool play with a 10-0 (4 inning) run-rule over Czech Republic on Saturday at the International Softball Federation (ISF) World Championships in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif.) picked up a no-hitter for Team USA in the circle. From the plate, USA was led by Molly Johnson (Lexington, Ky.) who homered for the first time in 2012, a three-run shot in the third inning, and Lauren Gibson (Pasadena, Md.) who picked up her third home run of the tournament in the second inning.
“Jordan gave us a great opportunity by getting out of that first inning,” said USA Head Coach Ken Eriksen. “Any time you’re playing teams that you really don’t know a lot about you’ve got to be able to win that first inning defensively and I thought Jordan did a great job for us there.”
In four innings pitched, Taylor struck out six batters while walking only one and allowing no hits. She improved her 2012 USA Softball record to 4-0. In 20.1 innings pitched, Taylor holds a 1.72 ERA.
“We’ve been working on a few things, especially attacking batters and I think we did a good job of that today,” said Taylor. “(Ashley) Holcombe and I were on the same page mixing up pitches.”
The USA scoring was delayed until the second inning when Jenae Leles (Sacramento, Calif.), Johnson, and Christi Orgeron (New Orleans, La.) all singled to load the bases. Right fielder Kaitlin Cochran (Yorba Linda, Calif.) then singled to score Leles and an error on the throw from the first baseman also scored Johnson. In the next at-bat, Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) doubled to score two more runs for Team USA.
With Moultrie the sole base runner, Gibson stepped to the plate and blasted her third home run of the tournament, a two-run shot that gave USA the 6-0 advantage after two innings.
The American scoring picked back up in the third inning when Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) walked and Leles singled to put two runners on base. Johnson belted a three-run homer over the centerfield wall for her second hit of the game.
“I think we came out with an intensity,” said Johnson. “We were happy to get the win yesterday but we wanted to come out and keep our foot on the accelerator today and I think we were able to do that. We’re happy to get the ten runs but we want to continue to hit like we did today and carry it on to the rest of the tournament.”
With a 9-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, USA only needed one run to end the game. Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) began the bottom of the inning with a double which was followed by walks for Stacy May-Johnson (Reno Nevada) and Arioto. With the bases loaded, Leles picked up her third hit of the day, a walk-off, RBI single to give USA the one run they needed for the win.
Team USA will return to action at the ISF World Championships on Sunday, July 15 when they play Puerto Rico at 2:00 PM (PDT). Please visit www.USAsoftball.com for links to live stats and live streaming of all Team USA’s games at the World Championships.