USA Red, USA Blue Both Open Canada Cup Play with Wins

July 1, 2001

Surrey, B.C., Canada - USA Red crushes Shanghai at Canada Cup

USA Red scored two runs in the top of the first inning and cruised to an 11-0 mercy rule five-inning victory over Shanghai China in its opening game of the Canada Cup.

Nicole Girodano (Saugus, CA) opened the USA offensive attack in the first with an infield single, stole second and scored on a double by Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, CA). Stacey Nuveman's (La Verne, CA) double to center field plated Mendoza to give the USA a 2-0 lead.

The USA pushed across a single run in the second inning when Lindsay Gardner (Katy, TX) walked, stole second and scored on a throwing error by the Shanghai pitcher on a ground ball from Natasha Watley (Irvine, CA).

After being set down in order in the third, USA Red exploded for four runs in the fourth and four in the fifth to secure the mercy-rule victory. In the fourth, Amanda Freed (Cypress, CA) led off with a double down the left field line and scored on a single by Tairia Mims (Tucson, AZ). Toni Mascarenas (Garden Grove, CA) continued the scoring barrage with a home run to left center that plated Mims. The final run of the inning came when Trena Peel (Aurora, CO), who was pinch-running for Lovieanne Jung (Westminster, CA) after a walk, was sacrificed to second by Gardner and scored on an infield single by Watley.

Shanghai's only threat of the game came in the bottom of the fourth when Qiu Haitau singled to left field to break up the perfect game, and Wang Jing added a two-out single through the left side, but both were left stranded.

USA Red continued to show its offensive prowess in the fifth with a lead-off home run by Freed. With one out, Michelle Gates (Chowchilla, CA) singled up the middle, Peel walked and both advanced to second on a passed ball. Gates scored on a single by Watley, while Peel advanced to third. Lizzy Lemire (Irvine, CA) drove in the final two runs of the game with a double through the left side that scored Peel and Watley.

Keira Goerl (Moreno Valley, CA) pitched the complete game shutout allowing only two hits while striking out 11 and walking only one. A total of nine USA Red players recorded hits, while Watley, Giordano and Freed each recorded multiple hits. Watley, Lemire and Mascarenas each drove in two runs during the win. USA Red continues Canada Cup competition tomorrow at 10 p.m. (EST) versus the Canada Development Team.

USA Blue downs Decatur Twister in opening game of Canada Cup

Surrey, B.C., Canada---It took extra innings, but the USA Blue team rallied to defeat the Decatur Twister, 7-3, in the team's opener at the Canada Cup Saturday afternoon.

The Twister clung to a 1-0 lead through five innings before the U.S. offensecould finally turn productive. A sacrifice fly from Nina Lindenberg (Anaheim Hills, CA) scored Nichole Thompson (Irvine, CA) to tie the game in the top of the sixth, and Blue surged briefly ahead in the top of the seventh off a Kim DePaul (Tomball, TX) lead-off home run, but another Twister run in the bottom of the frame sent the game into extra innings.

Blue finally put the game away with a five-run eighth, highlighted by a three-run home run to center from Jaime Clark (Tustin, CA). Britni Sneed (Houston, TX) started for USA Blue and allowed just one hit in six innings, a second-inning home run to Jenny Oerman, and recorded 13 strikeouts and issued two walks. It was Jennifer Sharron (Agoura Hills, CA), however, who picked up the win after missing out on a save opportunity. Sharron entered the game in the bottom of the seventh, trying to protect the Blue's 2-1 lead, but the rally from the Twister squashed Sharron's shot at a save and Sneed's chance at the win.

The game-saving, five-run eighth started with Missy Hixon (Scottsdale, AZ) being placed at second due to the international tie-breaker. She moved to third on a single to shortstop from Lauren Bauer (Santa Ana, CA) and later scored on a fielding error on a sac bunt attempt by Thompson. A walk to Jenny Topping (Whittier, CA) loaded the bases before Lindenberg's second sac fly of the day, which was followed by Clark's three-run shot to center. Clark also doubled in the fourth to finish with two hits, but Bauer went one better with three hits on the day.

Lindenberg's first sacrifice fly, which initially tied the game in the sixth, was set-up by a fielder's choice from Thompson and single from Jenny Topping that moved Thompson to third. USA Blue continues action at the 2001 Canada Cup tomorrow at 1 p.m. EST against the Czech Republic.

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