Women’s National Team continues international prep in Day Two of exhibition matchups at Scrap Yard Fast Pitch

June 17, 2018, 1:07 p.m. (ET)

HOUSTON, Texas — The #JourneyToJapan continued for members of the Red, White and Blue in their second day of exhibition matchups at Scrap Yard Sports in Houston, Texas.  The Japan All-Star Series roster (USA Blue) fell 6-3 (eight innings) to Scrap Yard Fast Pitch before dropping an 8-3 loss to the World Championship roster (USA Red).  The World Championship bats came alive, but eight runners left on base handed the U.S. a 4-0 loss at the hands of Scrap Yard Fast Pitch.

“We saw some good things and some not so good things,” said USA Blue Head Coach, Laura Berg. “We were hitting the ball better than the day before which is a good sign. We need to limit the number of walks but our battery is working together. I’m excited to see what happens in Japan. There are a lot of good things happening even though we’ve only been together for a few days.”

 

“Another productive 14 innings of preseason work for us today,” said USA Red Head Coach, Ken Eriksen. “It was good to see how we executed in different situations offensively and defensively. It’s nice when you can spar with an opponent like Scrap Yard because they play the game at the speed level we need to see."

 

Game One: USA Blue 3, Scrap Yard Fast Pitch 6 (eight innings)

Box Score

Scrap Yard Fast Pitch took an early 1-0 lead after the first inning, but the U.S. responded in the bottom of the third after Hannah Flippen (San Diego, Calif.) hit a solo home run to start the frame.  A solo home run by Brittany Cervantes regained the one-run, Scrap Yard lead and then another runner crossed the plate for Scrap Yard in the top of the sixth to make it a 3-1 ballgame. 

The game became tied for the second time in the contest in the bottom of the frame as Courtney Gano (West Covina, Calif.) singled to plate Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) and a bases loaded walk to Mo Mercado (Temecula, Calif.).   

Both sides would be retired in the seventh inning with the game tied up at three runs each to force the game into extra innings and initiate the International Tie Breaker (ITB) rule.  Scrap Yard was able to plate the ITB runner and an additional two runs after a string of bases loaded walks by the U.S.  USA Blue would be unable to advance their ITB runner in the bottom of the eighth, handing the Red, White and Blue the 6-3 loss.

Game Two: USA Red 8, USA Blue 3

Box Score

It was a Red, White and Blue showdown in the second contest of the day as the Japan All-Star Series and World Championship rosters squared off.  The World Championship roster, fueled by a hot performance at the plate by Kirsti Merritt (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.) combined for eight hits en route to the 8-3 win.

USA Blue got out to an early lead in the top of the first after Amanda Lorenz (Moorpark, Calif.) singled to bring in Flippen and Kretschman for the first two runs of the game.  USA Red responded in the bottom of the second as Merritt hit a solo shot to tie up the game, was followed by a triple from Delaney Spaulding (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) and an RBI single from Sahvanna Jaquish (Highland, Calif.).

USA Red added to that lead in the bottom of the third after three walks loaded the bases with one out.  A walk to Spaulding plated the first run of the at-bat, followed by a two-run single from Jaquish to make it 5-2, USA Red.

USA Blue plated their final run of the contest in the top of the fourth when Flippen grounded out to Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.) at second to allow Dejah Mulipola (Garden Grove, Calif.) to score from third base.  The 5-3 lead for USA Red was extended in the bottom of the sixth as Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.), who entered as a runner for Rachel Garcia (Palmdale, Calif.), drove in Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) and Merritt doubled to plate Aguilar and Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.).  That lead would prove to be enough as USA Blue was retired without any runs crossing the plate in their final at-bat.

Game Three: USA Red 0, Scrap Yard Fast Pitch 4

Box Score

USA Red could not produce the timely hit as they suffered a 4-0, shutout loss at the hands of Scrap Yard Fast Pitch in the final contest of the day. 

A solo home run from Anissa Urtez put Scrap Yard up 1-0 in the top of the second.  The U.S. looked to answer in the bottom of the frame after loading the bases with no outs, but a strikeout and back-to-back grounders halted the rally with USA still scoreless.  Scrap Yard added to their lead in the top of the third after a pair of walks and infield singles, making it a 2-0 lead in their favor.

Team USA once again looked to answer in the bottom of the frame after Merritt and Moultrie singled with one out, but a double play quickly ended the threat.

Two more runs crossed the plate for Scrap Yard in the top of the fourth after a single and walk put two runners on base for Ashley Walters, who perfectly placed a line drive down the right field line to allow the two base runners to score. 

A rally attempt in the bottom of the fifth by Team USA was once again halted by the Scrap Yard defense.  Janie Reed (Placentia, Calif.) singled to lead off, but was caught in a double play to quickly put two outs on the board with no one on.  A single from Stewart and double from Moultrie put two runners in scoring position, but a fly ball ended the inning with USA unable to capitalize.

Two more innings of play did not result in another run crossing the plate as Scrap Yard walked away with the 4-0 win.

Players on the Japan All-Star Series roster now head to Tokyo for the Japan All-Star Series, a three-game series against the Japan National Team, while the World Championship roster awaits a final meeting against Scrap Yard Fast Pitch.  Fan at home can access free live streaming of USA vs. Scrap Yard Fast Pitch online at USASoftball.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.