Border Battle bragging rights return to USA Softball

By Codi Warren (cwarren@usasoftball.com) | July 29, 2018, 8:51 p.m. (ET)

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada – The Red, White and Blue swept the final day of Border Battle action, including two USA victories in the Women’s and Men’s Border Battle finales against Canada.  All three U.S. teams, the Men’s Futures Slow Pitch National Team (USA Futures), Men’s Slow Pitch National Team (MSPNT) and Women’s Slow Pitch National Team (WSPNT), picked up wins in the first three games of the day before the WSPNT captured the program’s first Women’s Border Battle title and the MSPNT reclaimed the Men’s Border Battle title.

 

Click here for box scores from Border Battle X

 

Women’s Border Battle

USA 14, Canada 5

Click here for a box score

 

Chelsea Davis (Sarasota, Fla.) and Dara Toman (Columbus, Ohio) combined for seven of the 13 RBI produced by the WSPNT as the Americans defeated their northern neighbors 14-5 to claim the program’s first Border Battle title.  Davis, who crushed a solo home run to start the game off with a bang, had a 3-for-5 outing with three RBI in her first Border Battle contest while Toman picked up four RBI in a 2-for-4 showing at the plate.

 

With a 1-0 lead heading into the second inning courtesy of the solo home run by Davis, Team USA added another run after Jess Tolbert (Kansas City, Mo.) drove in Jordan Brown (McDonough, Ga.) with a line drive up the middle.  

 

The offense continued to dominate as three more runs crossed the plate for the U.S. in their next at-bat in the third inning.  Savannah Brown (Inola, Okla.) doubled, Toman singled and J. Brown hit a sac-fly to extend Team USA’s lead to 5-0.

 

The Red, White and Blue broke the game open in the top of the fourth inning with five more runs plated.  Tara Salcedo (Bellflower, Calif.) drove in two with a fly ball to right field and Toman picked up another three RBI with a double to left field with the bases loaded. 

 

Canada got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning with a double and sac-fly, cutting Team USA’s lead to 10-2.  The U.S. responded in their next at-bat as Davis drove in another two runs with a double to center field, making it a 12-2 ballgame for USA.

 

One more run by Canada in the bottom of the fifth made it a nine-run lead for the U.S. before J. Brown and Kami Marrott (Las Vegas, Nev.) each drove in a run to give Team USA an 11-run edge.

 

With the U.S. holding a 14-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh, Canada scored twice in their final at-bat but it was Team USA who walked away with the 14-5 win.

 

Davis shined in her first stint with the Red, White and Blue, finishing the Border Battle with a .647 (11-for-17) batting average and leading the team with three home runs and nine runs scored.  S. Brown led the U.S. offense with a .786 (11-for-16) batting average, driving in eight runs while scoring eight times and Salcedo led the team with nine runs driven in.

 

Men’s Border Battle

USA 30, Canada 13 (five innings)

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Team USA took advantage of a 20-run fifth inning en route to the program’s eighth overall Border Battle title. Down by a one-run deficit heading into the fifth, the U.S. offense exploded for 21 of the team’s 30 hits in the top of the inning for the eventual run-rule victory.

 

Bryson Baker (Woodland, Calif.) started the game with a solo home run before RBI singles from Jeremy Yates (Lake City, Fla.) and Ryan Harvey (Clearwater, Fla.) quickly gave the U.S. a 3-0 edge.  Canada cut the lead with a two-run blast in the bottom of the first, with USA holding a one-run lead after one complete inning.

 

Kyle Pearson (Stonewall, La.) drove in three runs with a three-run shot in the top of the second inning.  Continuing the U.S. offensive momentum, Travis Clark (Kenosha, Wis.) hit a grand slam to extend the Red, White and Blue’s lead to eight runs.  Canada once again responded in the bottom of the frame with a three-run shot, cutting the U.S. hold on the lead to 10-5.  

 

With USA retired in order in the top of the third inning, Canada’s bats continued to threaten the U.S. by driving in three runs in the bottom of the frame with a pair of home runs.  After shutting out Team USA again in the top of the fourth, Canada took the lead with another three-run inning courtesy of two home runs.

 

Trailing 11-10, Team USA’s bats came alive in an unrelenting 20-run at-bat in the top of the fifth.  Sending six home runs out of the park, Bubba Brungardt (Vancouver, Wash.), Steve Whaley (Spring, Texas), Luis Reyna (Tampa, Fla.) and Greg Connell (Moultrie, Ga.) each blasted a home run while Pearson sent two out of the park in the inning.  

 

Leading 30-11, Team USA needed to limit Canada to four runs or less to earn the run-rule victory and did just that.  Despite a two-run home run with one out, the U.S. defense quickly recorded the final two outs of the game to return the Men’s Border Battle title to the U.S.

 

Pearson had a day at the plate, crushing three home runs to collect nine RBI while Clark picked up five RBI.  For Border Battle, Pearson led the U.S. offense with eight home runs and 22 RBI in a near-perfect .900 (18-for-20) performance in the batter’s box. Team USA veteran Baker also had a consistent outing offensively, hitting .842 (16-for-22) while scoring 15 times in the leadoff spot. 

 

USA Futures show strength of program’s future as team goes undefeated

The USA Futures Slow Pitch National Team (USA Futures) displayed their strong offensive talent as the team outscored opponents 133-62 en route to a perfect 5-0 record on the weekend – including a 29-14 (five inning) run-rule victory over the MSPNT in the Slow Pitch Showdown.

 

Against the MSPNT, the USA Futures took advantage of a 15-run fifth inning to claim the program’s second Slow Pitch Showdown victory over the senior National Team. Shannon Smith (Norman, Okla.) was the hero of the game, blasting three home runs to total eight RBI in the contest while USA Futures rookie Travis Houseman (Urbandale, Iowa) also had a multi-home run performance in his first Slow Pitch Showdown.

 

Smith and Houseman were lights out with a bat in their hands all weekend, both hitting .737 (14-for-19).  Smith totaled 18 RBI with nine home runs, while Houseman drove in 13 batters with seven home runs.  

 

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.