USA Softball International Cup - Day Five Recap

July 14, 2018, 1:47 a.m. (ET)

IRVINE, Calif. – It was another undefeated day for the Red, White and Blue at the USA Softball International Cup.  For USA Red (World Championship roster), a 5-0 win over Puerto Rico secured a spot in the Championship Game while USA Blue (Japan All-Star Series roster) posted a 10-2 (six innings) win over Mexico. 

 

Click here for box scores from the USA Softball International Cup

 

USA Red 5, Puerto Rico 0

Click here for a box score

 

A 16-strikeout performance by Monica Abbott (Salinas, Calif.) in the circle was one of many highlights in a 5-0, shutout win over Puerto Rico.  Live on ESPN2, USA Red’s Kirsti Merritt (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.) recorded her first international home run after leading off the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run.

 

USA Red did damage early, putting four on the board in the bottom of the first inning.  Merritt was hit by a pitch to start off the at-bat and advanced to second on a passed ball.  Attempting to swipe third on the same pitch, Merritt was called out, but a single from Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.) quickly put another runner on base.  A walk to Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) put two on with one out for Taylor Edwards (Murrieta, Calif.), who drove a line drive through the left side to plate Aguilar.

 

Delaney Spaulding (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) kept the rally going with an RBI single to score Arioto.  The second walk of the inning to Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) loaded the bases forUSA Red'sSahvanna Jaquish (Highland, Calif.), who dropped a line drive inleft fieldfor a two-run single.

 

The game stayed at a 4-0, USA Red advantage as Abbott and the USA Red defense kept Puerto Rico off the board.  Puerto Rico got a pair of hits in the top of the sixth with a leadoff single and a high chopper to the pitcher, but Abbott retired the side with a pair of K’s to keep Puerto Rico off the board.

 

Merritt’s solo home run in the bottom of the sixth extended USA Red’s lead to 6-0, which would hold through Puerto Rico’s final at-bat.

 

Merritt finished the game with a 2-for-3 outing at the plate, picking up one RBI with one run scored while Jaquish picked up two RBI.  Abbott earned her second win of the USA Softball International Cup.

 

With the ‘W’, USA Red secured aspot in theChampionship game and will face the winner of USA Blue vs Japanset to be playedtomorrow morning at 9 am PTand broadcastedlive on ESPN2.

 

USA Blue 10, Mexico 2 (six innings)

Click here for a box score

 

A grand slam by Hannah Flippen (San Diego, Calif.) helped fuel USA Blue’s 10-2 (six innings) win over Mexico.  Overcoming a slow start at the plate, USA Blue pushed across three runs in the fourth and then seven more runs in the sixth inning en route to the win.

 

Mexico took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second with a two-out solo home run and would hold onto that lead until the fourth inning when USA Blue plated three.  Flippen led off the third with a single, but was called out at second on a fielder’s choice from Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.)  A line out to left field recorded the second out of the inning before a walk to Nicolette Udria (Covina, Calif.) put two on.

 

With runners on first and second, Courtney Gano (West Covina, Calif.) squared up on her first pitch of the at-bat, blasting the ball over the centerfield fence to give USA Blue a 3-1 edge.

 

That lead stuck until the top of the sixth inning when Chidester led off the frame with an absolute shot over the left field fence.  The scoring kept coming from USA Blue as Gano walked with two outs, advanced to second on a single from Mo Mercado (Temecula, Calif.) and moved to third on a walk to Amanda Lorenz (Moorpark, Calif.).  A bases-loaded walk to Kelly Kretschman (Indian Harbour, Fla.) and a hit batter in Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif.) plated two runs before Flippen broke the game open with a grand slam.

 

Mexico scored their final run of the contest in the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run, butwasunable to score any additional runsandultimately fell to USA Blue 10-2 (six innings).

 

Flippen finished the day 2-for-4 with four RBI and one run scored while Gano picked up three RBI with two runs scored.  Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif.) earned the win in the circle, tossing three and one-third innings with one strikeout.  Carley Hoover (Clemson, S.C.) pitched two-thirds of an inning while Paige Lowary (Dallas Center, Iowa) finished the final two frames for the save.

 

Notable July 13 performances

 

Canada, Scrap Yard Fast Pitch and Japan pick up shutout wins

It was a great day in the circle for Canada, Scrap Yard Fast Pitch and Japan as the three each picked up a shutout win in their sole contests of the day.  Canada shutout Czech Republic 10-0 (four innings) and Scrap Yard Fast Pitch defeated Peru 15-0 (four innings) while Japan won 8-0 (five innings).

 

Tickets are still available for the USA Softball International Cup, and can be purchased outside of Deanna Manning Stadium at the Bill Barber Park Ticket Booth.  For complete coverage of the USA Softball International Cup, including rosters, live stats, streaming and results log on to USASoftballInternationalCup.com.

 

About USA Softball

USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 69 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million.  USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch.  USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships.  The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game. As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.