Women blank Brazil in shutout win at Pan American Games

July 20, 2015, 4:56 p.m. (ET)


TORONTO, Ontario, Canada  — Team USA's bats continued to stay hot at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games as the squad combined for 10 hits to cruise to a 7-0 (five inning) win over Brazil on Monday afternoon.  Led by the combined pitching efforts of Sara Nevins (Pinellas Park, Fla.) and Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif.), the U.S. held Brazil to just one hit to move to 2-0 at the Pan American Games.

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"We got another great start today by coming out in that first inning and shutting them down," said Head Coach Ken Eriksen (Tampa, Fla.).  "I thought Ally did really well both at the plate and closing the game out for us in the circle.  She had a fantastic day and Raven continues to move the ball and get things started for our offense.  Both are doing great in their first Pan American Games."

Team USA's starter Nevins took care of business from the start in the circle, retiring the first two batters she faced with a pair of strikeouts before issuing a ground out to Kellie Fox (San Diego, Calif.) to bring the hot U.S. offense to the plate.  Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif.) got things going offensively for the U.S., punching in the first run of the game with an RBI single to left field to plate Carda, who reached on a walk. 

The U.S. would hold a 1-0 lead until the bottom of the third inning when the offense exploded for five runs off five hits.  Raven Chavanne (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) started the momentum with a leadoff single to center and advanced to second on a bunt by Janie Takeda (Placentia, Calif.) who was also able to reach safely.  With two on and no outs, Carda ripped a ball to right field to plate Chavanne and put two runners in scoring position for cleanup hitter Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.).  Arioto collected two RBI with a double to left field and the final two runs of the inning would come from a two-run double from Fox. 

Carda entered the circle in relief for Nevins in the top of the fourth and shut down the Brazil offense in order to bring Team USA back to the plate holding a 6-0 lead.  Takeda would score the eventual game-ending run in the bottom of the fourth inning after coming around to score on a double from Carda.  Down to their final at-bat, Brazil was unable to push across a run to extend the game as a pair of strikeouts from Carda and a fly out to Takeda in left field gave the U.S. the 7-0 (five inning) shutout win. 

Nevins earned the win for Team USA, going three full innings while issuing four strikeouts and one hit.  Carda finished the game with three strikeouts in two innings of work.  From the plate, Romero continued to shine with a 2-for-3 outing with one RBI.  Also leading the offense for the Red, White and Blue was Carda (2-for-2, one RBI) and Chavanne (2-for-3) while Arioto and Fox both collected two RBI apiece.

Up next for the U.S. is a 7 p.m. EDT game against host country Canada.  Live stats will be available throughout the Pan American Games and fans at home can follow along with recaps and more at ASAUSASoftball.com.

About ASA/USA Softball

Founded in 1933, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball is the National Governing Body Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, ASA/USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 74 local associations and 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.  ASA/USA is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of 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 as well as claimed eight World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about ASA/USA Softball, please visithttp://www.asausasoftball.com/.