Azzano Decimo, Italy - The USA Softball Women’s National Team locked up a spot in the finals of the Italian Softball Week by defeating Italy 5-0 on Saturday and moving to 3-1 in the tournament the Amateur Softball Association/USA Softball announced today. The Americans will now await the winner of the 2nd and 3rd place game between Australia and Italy on Sunday.
here for the box score
“It’s always interesting to see how your team is going to play coming off of a loss and I thought today we responded exactly like we should have,” said USA Head Coach Ken Eriksen. “Offensively we jumped on them early, our pitchers were on their game and the fielding was solid behind them.”
Jolene Henderson (Elk Grove, Calif.) earned the win for Team USA as she put together a nice outing holding the Italian batters hitless over her four innings of work and facing the minimum in her time in the circle. Jaclyn Traina (Naples, Fla.) entered to start the fifth and preserved the shutout as she allowed just two hits. Of the 30 batters they faced, Henderson and Traina combined to strike out nine and walk none.
Making a case for MVP of the tournament, Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) continued her streak of multi-hit games on Saturday as the outfielder went 2-3 from the plate with a two-run RBI in the first to put Team USA up 2-0 and a single to right field in the third. Four games into the event, Moultrie is hitting at a .643 clip.
Following the Moultrie single in the third, Team USA added two runs to their lead in the third inning at-bat. Hallie Wilson (Santa Ana, Calif.) grounded out to first to hit Raven Chavanne (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) in from third and in the next at-bat a Kellie Fox (San Diego, Calif.) single to right scored Moultrie from second.
Team USA added a fifth and final run in the bottom of the third when Destinee Martinez (Corona, Calif.) tagged up at third on a fly ball to left field and beat the throw home making it USA 5, Italy 0.
Two errors and a bunt single in the top of the sixth for Italy loaded the bases with just one out but a ground out to Fox at shortstop and a Traina strikeout ended the scoring threat. Both teams went three up, three down in their next at-bats and the USA Women’s went home with the win.
With the win, Team USA moved to 3-1 in the Italian Softball Week event and finished pool play in first place guaranteeing them a spot in Sunday’s Championship game. Italy will play Australia at 6 PM local time with the winner advancing to play the USA at 9 PM. 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.