Benyi, Zaplatosch Homer as USA Defeats Australia

Oct. 18, 2003

NANJING, CHINA - Home Runs by UCLA sophomores Caitlin Benyi and Emily Zaplatosch and a third round-tripper by Norrelle Dickson lifted the U.S. Junior Women to a 4-0 victory over Australia to remain perfect in World Championship play. At 7-0, the win advances the U.S. to the second round of playoff action where they will battle undefeated defending Junior World Champion Japan on October 19 at 6:00 p.m. (6:00 a.m. EST).

Left handed pitcher Monica Abbott led the U.S. once again from the circle notching her second win recording 12 strikeouts allowing just one hit in the victory.

A pitchers duel through the first three innings, the U.S. power unleashed in the top of the fourth when the homerun rally began. Norrelle Dickson led the inning taking a 3-2 pitch to centerfield before the bat of Emily Zaplatosch, who is leading the U.S. with 11 RBI, rocked a towering homerun to right center giving the U.S. a 2-0 advantage. Second baseman Caitlin Benyi, batting .588, then stroked her third homerun of the tournament continuing a five game hit streak for the 3-0 U.S. advantage.

But two home runs wasn't enough as seventh inning lead off hitter Desiree Williams added another HR to the books driving a solo shot to right center for the eventual 4-0 U.S. win.

Australia's only opportunity to score came in the top of the third inning when a U.S. fielding error allowed Rachel Love to reach first. Two successful sacrifice bunts advanced Love to third but the arm of Abbott continued to halt the Australian offense ending the inning with a strikeout. The only hit from the Australian junior squad came off a base hit bunt from Kylie Cronk in the bottom of the fourth who was later was forced out at second base on a fielder's choice.

Dickson led all batters going 2-for-3 in the fifth shutout victory for the U.S. Outscoring its opponents 61-2, the team USA is hitting .462 and has recorded a total of nine homeruns. The pitching staff remains solid recording a 0.00 overall ERA allowing just nine hits in seven games.