OKLAHOMA CITY – Border Battle XII continued today at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium – OGE Energy Field as the USA Softball Women’s Slow Pitch National Team, Women’s Futures, Men’s Slow Pitch National Team and Men’s Futures each tallied one win on the day before capping the evening with the 2022 edition of the Men’s and Women’s Slow Pitch Showdown.
U.S. Women’s Futures Slow Pitch National Team
The Women’s Futures came out firing in its first contest of the day with a dominating 20-1 run-rule (four innings) win over Tolbert’s All-Stars. The All-Stars managed to score its lone run in the top of the first inning before the Women’s Futures evened the score in the bottom of the frame and quickly stole the show in the second and third innings with 19 runs crossing the plate. Combining for 22 hits in the win, eight U.S. batters recorded multiple hits including perfect 3-for-3 performances from Stacey Moore, Kylee Studioso and Dani Wayt followed by two hits apiece from Kasey Britt, Bethany Brown, Hunter Clark, Megan Pearson and Randi Pauly.
U.S. Women’s Slow Pitch National Team
Behind an 11-run first inning, the U.S. WSPNT continued its dominance in its first game of the day with a 21-3 run-rule (four innings) victory over JMI Sports. JMI Sports cut the U.S. lead in the top of the second, but the Eagles proved superior with runs scored in every at-bat while keeping JMI Sports silent through the final two innings of play. Megan Baltzell led the U.S. offense with a 3-for-3 day at the plate – all of which left the ballpark – while Kristen Connell and Shelby Engle followed with two hits apiece.
Women’s Slow Pitch Showdown
WSPNT 9, Women’s Futures 7
In the annual Slow Pitch Showdown matchup of the Red, White and Blues, the WSPNT came out on top after a hard-fought battle resulted in a narrow 9-7 win over the Women’s Futures. Solid defense was on display for both squads as only one hit was recorded through the first inning, resulting in a scoreless start to the contest.
The Women’s Futures broke the silence in the top of the second, plating the first run of the game after a triple from Randi Pauly scored Aimee Halpin who singled earlier in the inning. Quick to bounce back, the WSPNT came alive in the bottom of the frame with six back-to-back base hits that sent five runs across the plate before a double play and a ground out ended the inning with the WSPNT on top, 5-1. Chipping away at the WSPNT lead, the Women’s Futures responded with a run of their own in the top of the third, but the WSPNT proved consistent with two more runs in the bottom of the inning to keep them on top, 7-2.
Despite a three-run fourth inning and two-run sixth inning, the Women’s Futures were unable to quiet the WSPNT as two more runs crossed the plate in the final three innings of the game to seal the 9-7 victory for the U.S. Women’s Slow Pitch National Team.
The WSPNT collected 14 hits in the win with Kristen Connell, Patrika Barlow, Shelby Engle, Mandy Hollman and Amber Parrish each collecting two hits apiece. For the Women’s Futures, Pauly reached base every at-bat with a perfect 3-for-3 outing followed by Halpin who contributed with two hits of her own.
U.S. Men’s Futures Slow Pitch National Team
A 19-run fourth inning lifted the Men’s Futures to its first win of the day, defeating All-Star Plumbing 26-11 to improve to 3-0. Despite falling behind early, the U.S. responded big in the bottom of the fourth behind six home runs off the bats of Austyn Dawe, Phil Matte, Ryan McClanahan, Quinn Cannoy (grand slam) and Tyler Ervine (2 home runs) in addition to 11 base hits from the rest of the Eagle offense. Erik Lehman led the Red, White and Blue with a perfect 4-for-4 performance at the plate followed by Cannoy, Dawe, Jason Matuski, Conner Murray and Adam Ussery who each tallied three hits in the win.
U.S. Men’s Slow Pitch National Team
Despite falling behind early in its first game of the day, the U.S. MSPNT opened Day 2 of Border Battle XII with a 22-18 win over T’s 13. After allowing 11 runs to score for T’s 13 in the first two innings, the Eagles quickly answered back in the bottom of the second with ten runs of their own followed by five runs in the fourth and fifth innings and one run in the sixth to push their way to a 22-15 lead with three outs remaining in the game. The T’s 13 offense looked to pressure the MSPNT with three runs crossing the plate in the top of the seventh, but the U.S. defense remained solid to end the at-bat and seal the win. Six home runs left the ballpark for the Red, White and Blue enroute to a combined 25 hits led by a perfect 3-for-3 outing from Josh Riley.
Men’s Slow Pitch Showdown
Men’s Futures 33, MSPNT 25
The Men’s Futures offense came to play in the 2022 edition of the Men’s Slow Pitch Showdown, posting a thrilling 33-25 win over the MSPNT after a tough seven innings of back-and-forth action. As the visiting team, the Men’s Futures plated the first two runs of the game thanks to a leadoff double from Dawe and a home run from Tyler Ervine, but the MSPNT quickly answered back in the bottom of the frame with four runs of their own to take the lead.
The lead didn’t stick long, though, as McClanahan stepped up to send a two-run blast over the center field fence to even the score for the Men’s Futures in the top of the second followed by a two-run home run from Ervine in the top of the third to give the Men’s Futures a 6-4 lead. After a scoreless second inning, the MSPNT came alive in the bottom of the third with home runs off the bats of Tyler Marshburn and Everett Williams to put them back on top, 9-6. The MSPNT maintained the lead until the top of the fifth when the Men’s Futures offense strung together nine hits and one home run to plate nine runs and put them ahead, 17-10. Remaining consistent in its bounce back, the MSPNT quickly gained back the lead in the bottom of the frame with four base hits and four home runs to give them a one run edge over the Men’s Futures, 18-17.
The Men’s Futures stayed hot in the top of the sixth, scoring 12 runs with two outs thanks to 10 consecutive base hits with two leaving the ballpark to help them regain the lead, 29-18. Chipping away at the lead, the MSPNT managed to plate six runs in the bottom of the inning but were followed by another good inning from the Men’s Futures offense who tacked on four more to put them on top, 33-24 with three outs remaining in the game. Despite a home run from Andrew Collins in the bottom of the seventh, the MSPNT were unable to come alive as the Men’s Futures earned the 33-25 Men’s Slow Pitch Showdown victory.
The MSPNT maxed out its limit of 10 home runs in the offensive battle with Dale Brungardt and Riley each sending two over the fence followed by Collins, Travis Clark, Marshburn, Pearson, Mack and Mike Jacobson with one apiece. Also sending a max of 10 home runs out of the park, the Men’s Futures saw Ervine send three balls deep followed by Lehman with two and Austin Andrews, Ussery, McClanahan, Conner Murray and Travis Houseman with one.
Capping the weekend with the highly-anticipated international matchup between Team USA and Team Canada, the annual Men’s and Women’s Border Battle competition is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. CT on Sunday, Sept. 11 at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium – OGE Energy Field.
A daily gate fee of $7 will be in place at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex with children five years of age or younger receiving free admission. Free on-site parking will be available throughout the tournament while the National Softball Hall of Fame Museum and gift shop will be open for fans on Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Live streaming and stats will be available throughout the weekend on USASoftball.com.