Barranquilla, Colombia — Continuing their win streak at the U-17 Women’s Pan American Championship, the USA Softball U-17 Women’s National Team (WNT) earned an 8-1 win over Mexico at Edgardo Schemel Stadium on Sunday to remain perfect in pool play.
Avery Hodge (Fulshear, Texas) drew a walk to lead off the game but was called out advancing to second after Maddie Gallagher (Port Washington, N.Y.) grounded into a fielder’s choice. A strikeout and groundout followed to leave the U.S. scoreless while Mexico drove in a run in the bottom half of the frame for a 1-0 score.
Both sides were retired in order through the second inning, while the sole runner in the third frame reached first via a one-out walk for Mexico. However, the U.S. forced a zero on the scoreboard for Mexico after a strikeout from Dani Drogemuller (Frankfort, Ill.) and fielder’s choice play to second baseman Tieley Vaughn (Tampa, Fla.).
It was Jessie Blaine (Wentzville, Mo.) who put the U.S. on top in the fourth inning, sending a fly ball deep past the centerfield fence to bring home Gallagher and Caitlynn Neal (Dewey, Ariz.) who reached on a single and hit-by-pitch. Hallie Wacaser (Centerton, Ark.) followed with a fly ball to left field for a single before crossing home two outs later on an RBI double from Jocelyn Erickson (Phoenix, Ariz.).
Despite a one-out double from Mexico in the bottom half of the fourth inning, the Red, White and Blue kept Mexico at bay after a fly out to centerfield and pop out stranded the runner at second.
Claire Ginder (Lithia, Fla.) and Hodge drew walks to lead off the top of the fifth frame and advanced on a sac bunt from Gallagher. A wild pitch allowed Ginder to score from third and a walk to Neal put runners on the corners. Blaine then lined one to centerfield to collect her fourth RBI of the night and give the U.S. a 6-1 lead.
Retiring Mexico in order for the second time today, the U.S. returned to the plate and plated a seventh run in the sixth inning following an RBI single from Casey Goguts (Reading, Pa.). Mexico came close in the bottom half of the frame after three batters were hit-by-pitch to load the bases with two outs. A dropped third strike allowed catcher Goguts made the third out at home.
In the seventh, Hodge had a leadoff single and Blaine was intentionally walked two outs later to put runners on for the U.S. Wacaser singled on a hard groundball up the middle to give Hodge time to score from second and extend the lead, 8-1. The U.S. defense secured the win in the bottom half of the frame to earn their third win of the tournament.
The U.S. collected 10 hits for the day, with both Blaine and Wacaser tallying two apiece.
Starting pitcher Drogemuller pitched four innings, surrendering one run on three hits and striking out three. Harris entered the circle in relief and struck out eight batters in her three innings of work.
The U.S. squad has a day off before returning to action on Tuesday, October 15 at 11:00 a.m. CT against Argentina. Live stats will be available through USASoftball.com while WBSC has provided streaming through Gametime.Sport.
A total of 33 games will be played across nine days as participating countries battle it out to qualify for the 2020 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup. The 10 participating countries were drawn into two groups.
Following the conclusion of pool play, the top three finishers will advance to the Super Rounds for a six-team, round-robin schedule. The top two teams from the Super Rounds will compete for the Pan American Championship Final on October 19 at 6 p.m. CT while the third and fourth-place teams will compete for the Bronze Medal.
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.
About the World Baseball Softball Confederation
Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland -- the Olympic Capital -- the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the world governing body for baseball and softball. WBSC has 202 National Federation and Associate Members in 143 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania, which represent a united baseball/softball sports movement that encompasses over 65 million athletes and attracts approximately 150 million fans to stadiums worldwide annually.
The WBSC governs all international competitions involving official National Teams. The WBSC oversees the Softball World Championships (Men, Women, U-19 Men, and U-19 Women), Premier12, World Baseball Classic, and Baseball World Cups (U-12, U-15, U-18, U-23 and Women's).
For more information, visit: www.wbsc.org.