Canada Cup Playoff Round Set as USA Red and Blue Finish Pool Play

USA Red defeats Italy, advances to playoff round at Canada Cup

Surrey, B.C., Canada -- USA Red concluded the round-robin portion of its Canada Cup schedule Thursday afternoon with a 9-0 victory over Italy, improving the U.S. squad's mark to 6-2.

The playoffs start Friday, and the Red team will be among the eight teams competing in the double-elimination playoffs. USA Red will open the playoffs against Japan Red on Friday.

Catherine Osterman (Houston, TX) picked up the win, her second against one loss at the tournament, allowing just one hit. A lead-off single in the top of the second was the only blemish that kept Osterman from a perfect game. She also chalked up 11 strike outs, including striking out the side in the bottom of the first, during the five-inning game.

Red posted three runs on the score board in the top of the first and added six more in the next frame to account for the game's score. In the first, Natasha Watley (Irvine, CA) scored on a throwing error on a ball hit by Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, CA), and Tairia Mims (Tucson, AZ) had a two-run single that scored Mendoza and Nicole Giordano (Saugus, CA). Mims had another two-run single in the second inning, this one down the left-field line, Michelle Gates (Chowchilla, CA) and Lindsey Collins (Fountain Valley, CA) each had RBI-singles and Stacey Nuveman (La Verne, CA) and Lovie Jung (Westminster, CA) both drew bases-loaded walks.

Netherlands upset USA Blue at Canada Cup

Surrey, B.C., Canada -- In one of the biggest upsets of the Canada Cup, the Netherlands downed USA Blue 2-1 in the final game of pool play Thursday afternoon. Despite the loss, USA Blue finishes with a 7-1 record and qualifies as the top seed from the Red Division in the upcoming playoff round. USA Blue will open the playoffs against the Phoenix Storm on Friday night.

The Netherlands came out gunning for the USA in the second inning. Mariska Greve led off with a double to left-center and Jolanda Kroesen homered to center field to give their team a quick 2-0 lead. USA pitcher Courtney Dale (Fresno, CA) was chased from the game in the top of the fourth after allowing back-to-back singles. Tia Bollinger (Santa Ana, CA) came in relief and shut down the Netherlands rally. For the game, Dale allowed two runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings of work.

USA Blue cut the Netherlands lead in half in the top of the fourth when Nina Lindenberg (Anaheim Hills, CA) reached on a fielder's choice, advanced to second on a single up the middle by Jaime Clark (Tustin, CA) and scored on a single to left field by Kim DePaul (Houston, TX). Bases loaded scoring opportunities for the USA in the fifth and seventh innings were culled by the Netherlands.

Lauren Bauer (Santa Ana, CA) extended her hitting streak to eight games, as she rapped out two hits in the game.

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