Azzano Decimo, Italy - The USA Softball Women’s
National Team suffered their first loss in the Italian Softball Week event on Friday
when Australia scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning to
get a 3-2 win the Amateur Softball Association/USA Softball announced today. The
game went down to the wire as Team USA tied the score 2-2 in the top of the
seventh but an RBI triple in the bottom half of the inning sealed the win for
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“We didn’t play a great game today,” said USA Head Coach Ken Eriksen. “We made some mistakes but just like I told the team, the best thing about a game like this is it’s over and now you get to learn from it and use it to your advantage going forward. We come back and play Italy tomorrow and if we take care of business we’ll be in the championship game.”
Sarah Nevins (Pinellas Park, Fla.) started the game in the circle for the USA and went three innings allowing two runs on one hit and striking out three before Jolene Henderson (Elk Grove, Calif.) entered in relief in the fourth. Henderson lasted 1.1 innings before Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif.) took over to finish the game.
Team USA took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) reached on a single to centerfield and Raven Chavanne (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) moved her to third with a ground out to second base. A wild pitch on the next at-bat plated Stewart for the first run of the game.
The lead didn’t last long however as Australia put up two runs of their own in the bottom of the third. Back-to-back USA fielding errors put runners in scoring position for Australia’s Stacey Porter who singled to right field scoring one. In the next at-bat Melinda Weaver groundout to first but it was enough to score the second Australian run of the inning.
The 2-1 score held for three innings as both teams struggled to score despite putting runners on base. In the top of the seventh Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) abruptly ended the scoring drought when she sent a first-pitch strike sailing over the right field wall to tie the game at two. With the hit Moultrie pushed her tournament batting average to .636 and increased her slugging percentage to 1.363.
Despite the momentum shift towards the USA it didn’t take long for Australia to answer. In the bottom of the seventh, with a runner on first, Porters sent a 1-0 pitch to deep left field for a walk-off triple to give her team a 3-2 win.
With the loss, Team USA moves to 2-1 in the Italian Softball Week event and still controls their own destiny. A win over Italy on Saturday would secure the No. 1 seed and a spot in the finals on Sunday. Visit www.USASoftball.com for complete Team USA coverage as they continue to compete in Italian Softball Week and move on to the International Softball Federation (ISF) Women’s World Championship beginning August 15.
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.