USA BASEBALL NEWS

WNT

Team USA Drops Bronze Medal Game to Canada, 8-5

Megan Baltzell and Meggie Meidlinger honored with individual awards
August 31, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Canada 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 5 8 10 3
Team USA 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 5 9 0
Win: A. Schroder Loss: S. Piagno Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-play | World Cup Stats
 

VIERA, FLA. - The USA Baseball Women's National Team ended its run at the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup with a heartbreaking 8-5 loss to Canada in the bronze medal game on Friday at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Florida.

Despite getting out to an early lead and then forcing extra innings with a late rally, the U.S. couldn't hang on as Canada's bats caught fire in the tenth.

The U.S. took charge in the first inning as it put two runs on the board courtesy of a Michelle Cobb (Wenatchee, Wash.) single and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch. That lead would hold until the fifth as the pitching locked in on both sides.

Team USA's Brittany Schutte (Gainesville, Fla.) put together a strong start, giving up just four hits in five innings and striking out two. All of the runs Schutte allowed came on one hit as Daphnee Gelinas hit a three-run home run in the top of fifth to give Canada a 3-2 lead.

A rally, sparked by a leadoff single from Jade Gortarez (Riverside, Calif.) and a sacrifice bunt by Amanda Gianelloni (Napoleonville, La.), got the momentum rolling back in the U.S.'s direction in the seventh inning. Malaika Underwood (San Diego, Calif.) came to the plate and the veteran came through once again, roping a double to left-center that tied the game at 3-3 and forced extra baseball.

Stacy Piagno (St. Augustine, Fla.) came took over on the mound in the seventh inning and shut Canada down in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. But Team USA couldn't cash in on bases loaded situations in the eighth or ninth innings either, sending the contest to the tenth where Canada took control.

The U.S. had its work cut out for it in the bottom of the tenth after Canada put up five runs in the top half for a commanding 8-3 lead. The stars and stripes loaded the bases once again and an AJ Hamilton (Tallahassee, Fla.) single brought in two to cut the deficit to just three but a double play ended the inning and gave Canada the final 8-5 win.

Following the conclusion of the event on Friday night, it was announced by the WBSC that two U.S. players were named to the WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup All-World Team. Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.) was named the All-World Designated Hitter, while Meggie Meidlinger (Sterling, Va.) was named the All-World Relief Pitcher. In five appearances in the 2018 event, Meidlinger tallied a 0.00 ERA, while allowing just three hits and striking out three.

Baltzell hit a team-high .500 and also led the tournament in home runs with two. The lefty now owns the WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup home run record after hitting one in the 2016 World Cup and two this year. In addition to being named to the All-World Team, Baltzell won two individual awards for her stellar performance in the event. She took home the hardware for most home runs (2) and most RBI (10).

Team USA finished the World Cup 6-3 with a 1.98 team ERA and a collective .288 average.

Continue to follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter or visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the Women's National Team.

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CNT

2018 USA Baseball Award Winners Announced

Collegiate National Team member Adley Rutschman named Richard W. "Dick" Case Award winner
January 11, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced the recipients of its annual organizational awards on Friday, recognizing the top athletes, coaches and performances from the 2018 USA Baseball national teams. Collegiate National Team member Adley Rutschman (Sherwood, Ore.) was named the Richard W. "Dick" Case Award winner, becoming the 12th Collegiate National Team member to earn athlete of the year honors. The award is given annually to USA Baseball's top player in honor of the organization's founding Executive Director and CEO.

Collegiate National Team manager Paul Mainieri earned the program's second award of the year when he was named the Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year. USA Baseball also recognized the 15U National Team with two awards in 2018, including Team of the Year and naming Manager Jason Maxwell the Developmental Coach of the Year after the team won its first-ever world championship at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-15 Baseball World Cup.

18U National Team member Bobby Witt Jr. (Colleyville, Texas) was honored with the International Performance of the Year Award for his strong showing in the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships gold medal game, while Women's National Team member Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.) took home the Sportswoman of the Year Award following an exceptional performance in the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup.

Lastly, Karsten Whitson was named the Volunteer Coach of the Year after serving as a pitching coach at the 2018 14U National Team Development Program.

"We are excited to celebrate the people and performances that made 2018 another outstanding year for USA Baseball," USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO Paul Seiler said. "It is an honor to be represented by coaches, athletes and staff that are such exceptional global ambassadors for our country and the game of baseball on the international stage. We are extremely proud to recognize their 2018 accomplishments with these awards."

USA Baseball continued its incredible success against international competition in 2018, finishing the year with gold medals at the COPABE U-12 Pan-American Championships, WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup and the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships. After winning the WBSC U-15 World Cup, Team USA is now the defending world champions for all three youth age levels. The Collegiate National Team also built on its 2017 success when it once again won all three of its international friendship series against Chinese Taipei, Japan and Cuba in 2018

Rutschman was awarded the Richard W. "Dick" Case Award following a strong summer showing for the Collegiate National Team. He joined Team USA after winning the 2018 NCAA College World Series with Oregon State and was immediately a leader both on and off the field. He paced the team in batting average (.355), slugging percentage (.516) and on-base percentage (.432), and also finished the summer leading the squad in doubles with five in nine games.

In addition, Rutschman personified the off-field qualities that the Richard W. "Dick" Case Award honors. The catcher was the quintessential teammate and an undisputed leader in the clubhouse while also exemplifying sportsmanship and love of the game throughout the summer.

Mainieri was named the Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year after leading the Collegiate National Team to series wins over Chinese Taipei, Japan and Cuba for the second year in a row. Under his guidance, Team USA started its summer undefeated against international competition with a five-game sweep of Chinese Taipei and finished with a 11-3 record. The series win against Cuba marked its fourth in a row in the annual series and was just the second time in Collegiate National Team history that Team USA has claimed a series win on Cuban soil.

USA Baseball's Team of the Year award was given to the 15U National Team after it won its first-ever world championship with a 7-1 gold medal-game victory over Panama at the 2018 WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup. The team finished the tournament with an 8-1 record, a .323 batting average, 69 RBI, 17 doubles, five triples and three home runs while outscoring opponents 88-13 en route to the gold medal. In addition, the pitching staff tallied a collective team ERA of 1.24 over 58.0 innings and four players were named to the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup All-World Team. Maxwell's tutelage, leadership and guidance of the squad as this year's manager led to him being named the 2018 Developmental Coach of the Year.

"Jason Maxwell has been an asset to USA Baseball for many years and he brought an impressive amount of leadership and expertise to the 2018 15U National Team," Seiler said. "His ability to develop and guide these young players to new heights was evident and the team's journey to the program's first world championship was impressive to watch. We couldn't be happier to honor him and this year's team with these awards."

Witt Jr. earned the 2018 International Performance of the Year Award after hitting for a natural cycle in the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships gold medal game. The Colleyville, Texas, native hit a single in the second, an RBI-double in the third, a lead-off triple in the fourth and completed the cycle with a two-run home run in the fifth to lead the red, white and blue's offense in the 17-2 defeat of Panama. Following the game, Witt Jr. was named the tournament MVP and also picked up the best slugger and highest batting average awards after hitting .576 with three doubles, three triples, three home runs and 18 RBI in nine games.

Two-time Women's National Team alum Baltzell was named Sportswoman of the Year after hitting a team-high .500 in the 2018 WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup and leading the tournament in home runs with two. The lefty now owns the WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup home run record after hitting one in the 2016 World Cup and two in 2018. In addition to being named to the All-World Team following the event's conclusion, Baltzell also won two individual awards for her stellar 2018 performance, taking home the hardware for most home runs (2) and most RBI (10).

Lastly, Karsten Whitson, who won a gold medal as a player on the 2009 18U National Team, was named the 2018 Volunteer Coach of the Year after serving as a pitching coach for the 14U National Team Development Program's Stars team. The pitching staff thrived under Whitson, combining for 16 strikeouts in the three-game series. Six of those pitchers were invited to the 15U National Team Trials and one - Karson Bowen - was named to the 2018 15U National Team.

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) annually honors one Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year based on nominations from its National Governing Bodies, as well as Developmental and Volunteer Coach of the Year awards. USA Baseball's award winners serve as the organization's nominees in their respective categories with the USOC.

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WNT

U.S. Beats Dominican Republic, Will Play for World Cup Bronze

Kelsie Whitmore gives up just three hits and no earned runs in start
August 31, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Dominican Republic 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 2
Team USA 6 0 1 0 1 0 X 8 7 2
Win: K. Whitmore Loss: M. Quero Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-play | World Cup Stats
 

VIERA, FLA. - The USA Baseball Women's National Team finished off Super Round play in the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup with an 8-1 defeat of Dominican Republic at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Florida, on Thursday night.

Having already secured a spot in the World Cup bronze medal game with Canada's loss to Chinese Taipei earlier in the day, the U.S. still came out swinging.

The Dominican Republic opened the scoring with a run in the top of the first but that was all the team would get in the contest as three U.S. pitchers combined for six subsequent innings.

Kelsie Whitmore (Temecula, Calif.) got her second start of the World Cup on Thursday and set the tone early on the mound for Team USA. She allowed just three hits, one walk and no earned runs in four solid innings before handing the ball to Laura Collins (Hollywood, Fla.) and Emily Tsujikawa (Redmond, Wash.) to finish off the win. Neither relief pitcher gave up a hit in the final three innings.

On the offensive side, the red, white and blue responded to the Dominican Republic's run in the top of the first with a six-run bottom half to put the game away early. The inning was highlighted by clutch hitting as all six runs came with two outs.

Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.), Michelle Cobb (Wenatchee, Wash.), Kylee Lahners (Laguna Hills, Calif.) and Anna Kimbrell (Fort Mill, S.C.) collected hits and the squad also took advantage of walks and hit-by-pitches to take a 6-1 lead to the second inning.

Team USA added to its lead with one run each in the third and fifth innings for the final score of 8-1 to claim the win. Baltzell finished the contest 2-for-4 with a run scored and Kimbrell went 1-for-2 with two RBI and a run scored.

The U.S. will play Canada for the 2018 WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup bronze medal at 1 p.m. ET on Friday, August 31, at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Fla. This will be the second game in the 2018 tournament between the two teams as they matched up against each other in the Super Round on Wednesday. Team USA came out on top in that game with a 5-1 win. Friday's bronze medal game will be streamed live on the WBSC YouTube channel.

Continue to follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the Women's National Team.

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WNT

Bats Come Alive in 5-1 Defeat of Canada

Jade Gortarez and Megan Baltzell go yard
August 30, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Team USA 0 3 2 0 0 0 0 5 10 1
Canada 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 1
Win: M. Sementelli Loss: A. Lavallee Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-play | World Cup Stats
 

VIERA, FLA. - The USA Baseball Women's National Team picked up a crucial 5-1 victory over Canada to keep its gold medal hopes alive in the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup on Wednesday night at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Florida.

Seven players collected hits in the contest while Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.) and Anna Kimbrell (Fort Mill, S.C.) both had multi-hit games for the red, white and blue. Marti Sementelli (Newton, Mass.) dominated on the mound, giving up just three hits and one run in six stellar innings of work.

After going down 1-0 in the first inning, the U.S. quickly got its offense rolling for the immediate answer. A leadoff double from Kylee Lahners (Laguna Hills, Calif.) and a two-out hit-by-pitch brought Jade Gortarez (Riverside, Calif.) to the plate with runners on the corners. The shortstop did not disappoint, launching the first pitch she saw 329 feet over the left field wall to give Team USA a 3-1 advantage that it would not relinquish.

The stars and stripes added to their lead in the next inning as Baltzell brought out her own power. The right fielder crushed a 360-foot home run - her second dinger of the tournament - to center field to make it 4-1 in favor of the U.S. Baltzell went 3-for-4 on Wednesday and is now hitting .550 with two long balls, four doubles and 10 RBI in the tournament.

Michelle Cobb (Wenatchee, Wash.) followed the leadoff bomb with a single before a Kimbrell double put two runners in scoring position for Alex Hugo (Olathe, Kan.), who reached on an error that scored Cobb. The two-run inning gave Team USA a 5-1 lead that would prove to be the final score on the night as the pitching staff took care of business from there.

After allowing the run in the first, Sementelli locked in. She sat down seven consecutive batters following a leadoff walk in the third and a quick three up, three down sixth inning set the stage for Meggie Meidlinger (Sterling, Va.).

Meidlinger made her fourth appearance of the World Cup when she took the mound to close it out in the seventh. She gave up one hit - her first of the event - but a fielder's choice and a double play erased the threat and finished off the victory for the U.S.

Team USA's final game of the World Cup Super Round will be at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, August 29, against the Dominican Republic at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Fla. The game will be streamed live on the WBSC YouTube channel.

Continue to follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the Women's National Team.

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WNT

U.S. Drops Contest with Japan, 3-0

Stacy Piagno strikes out three in second complete game of tournament
August 29, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Team USA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3
Japan 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 6 1
Win: A. Sato Loss: S. Piagno Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-play | World Cup Stats
 

VIERA, FLA. - The USA Baseball Women's National Team dropped its first Super Round game in the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup 3-0 to Japan on Tuesday night at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Florida.

Both teams were strong on the mound as Team USA's Stacy Piagno (St. Augustine, Fla.) hurled her second complete game of the tournament while giving up just one earned run on six hits, allowing just one walk and fanning three.

But the U.S. couldn't get anything going against Japan's Ayami Sato, who also went the distance while allowing just one hit.

Japan jumped out to a quick lead in the contest and didn't look back, stringing together a single, stolen base and sacrifice bunt to put a runner at third and a sacrifice fly brought her in to make it 1-0. Two more runs came across in the second before Piagno shut Japan down for the 3-0 final score.

Team USA got runners on base in the first and third, courtesy of two hit-by-pitches, and a Japan error in the sixth allowed Amanda GIanelloni (Napoleonville, La.) to reach second base but the squad couldn't get anything more.

The lone hit for the U.S. came in the seventh inning as Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.) broke up Sato's no-hitter with a two-out single to center. But a groundout ended the threat and secured the victory for Japan.

In its second game of the Super Round, Team USA will match up against Canada at 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday, August 28, at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Fla. The game will be streamed live on the WBSC YouTube channel.

Continue to follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the Women's National Team.

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WNT

Team USA Finishes Pool Play with Tough 4-3 Loss

Malaika Underwood collects three RBI
August 27, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Chinese Taipei 0 0 1 2 0 1 0 4 6 1
Team USA 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 3 5 1
Win: C. Huang Loss: S. Cobb Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-play | World Cup Stats
 

VIERA, FLA. - The Women's National Team dropped a tough loss to Chinese Taipei 4-3 in its final opening round game of the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup on Sunday at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Florida.

Jade Gortarez (Riverside, Calif.) got the start in the game for the red, white and blue and fanned six in her five innings of work. The right-hander gave up two earned runs on five hits in the contest.

Chinese Taipei managed to bring in the first runner of the game, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the third before Team USA was able to answer.

But the squad did have an immediate answer with two runs in the bottom half to take a 2-1 lead of its own. Anna Kimbrell (Fort Mill, S.C.) set the tone for the inning with a leadoff single before Brittany Gomez (New Braunfels, Texas) came up to the plate and laced a single of her own through the right side to put two on for Gortarez.

The right-hander laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position for Malaika Underwood (San Diego, Calif.), who came up clutch for the U.S. With two outs, the first baseman doubled to bring in both runners and give Team USA the lead.

After Chinese Taipei took back the lead with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth, the stars and stripes once again had an answer to tie it up in the next frame. The team took advantage of a hit-by-pitch, a throwing error and a walk to load the bases for Underwood, who once again came up big. She collected a RBI on a sacrifice fly of her own to make it a 3-3 game.

Chinese Taipei took back the lead in the next frame and wouldn't relinquish it though as the took the 4-3 win.

Chiao-Yun Huang, who threw a complete game for Chinese Taipei, earned the win while Team USA's Samantha Cobb (Garland, Texas) took the loss despite giving up just one run on one hit. Underwood collected all three of the U.S.'s RBI in the loss and Michelle Cobb finished 2-for-2 with a walk.

Team USA will next take the field on Tuesday, August 28, but will await the results of Monday's games that were rescheduled due to weather to find out who it will play and what time. All of the tournament's games will be streamed live on the WBSC YouTube channel.

Continue to follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the Women's National Team.

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WNT

Defense Leads Team USA to Fourth Consecutive Win

Megan Baltzell hits 363-foot home run
August 25, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Team USA 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 3 5 1
Venezuela 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 2
Win: M. Sementelli Loss: K. Vizcaya Save: M. Meidlinger
Box Score | Play-by-play | World Cup Stats
 

VIERA, FLA. - Defense and a Megan Baltzell home run were the highlights of the game on Saturday as the Women's National Team kept its perfect record in the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup with a 3-1 victory over Venezuela at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Fla.

Most of Team USA's offense came in the second inning courtesy of a two-RBI single off the bat of Jade Gortarez (Riverside, Calif.). The shortstop finished 2-for-3 in the contest and is hitting .500 with three doubles so far in the tournament.

Venezuela would answer in the bottom half with a run of its own to cut the lead to 2-1 but a play at the plate got the third out of the inning and kept the U.S. in front. That score would stand through the sixth, thanks to outstanding defense on both sides of the diamond.

For the fourth game in a row, the U.S. got a strong start on the mound despite a long weather delay. After giving up a run on three hits in the second inning, Marti Sementelli (Newton, Mass.) settled in and allowed just two hits over the next four innings to give the stars and stripes six solid innings of work.

Amanda Gianelloni (Napoleonville, La.) starred for Team USA at second base, making multiple big plays to keep Team USA in front. Her defense was highlighted by a diving snag that started a double play to cut a Venezuelan rally short in the bottom of the seventh.

The red, white and blue added an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning for the final 3-1 score when Baltzell launched a ball 363 feet over the right field wall for Team USA's first dinger of the tournament.

Through four games, Baltzell is hitting a team-best .700 with four doubles, nine RBI and four walks.

Team USA improves to 4-0 in the 2018 World Cup with the victory and is the only undefeated team in Group A. The squad has also outscored its opponents 46-2 so far through the event. This is just the second time in Women's National Team history that the U.S. has started a World Cup with four consecutive wins with the last time coming in the 2014 event when the team took home the silver medal.

Team USA's next game will be Sunday, August 26, at 6 p.m. ET as the squad takes on Chinese Taipei in the final game of pool play at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Florida. The game will be streamed live on the WBSC YouTube channel.

Continue to follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the Women's National Team.

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WNT

Team USA Remains Undefeated in World Cup with 11-1 Win

Anna Kimbrell launches three doubles and collects four RBI
August 25, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 R H E
Korea 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 0
Team USA 5 3 0 3 X 11 10 1
Win: K. Whitmore Loss: M. Cho Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-play | World Cup Stats
 

VIERA, FLA. - Anna Kimbrell's (Fort Mill, S.C.) 3-for-3 night at the plate led the way as Team USA earned its third consecutive double-digit victory in the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup on Friday night at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Florida. With the 11-1 defeat of Korea, the U.S. improves to 3-0 in pool play and remains the only undefeated team in Group A.

Weather once again delayed things on day three as Kelsie Whitmore (Temecula, Calif.), who got the start for the stars and stripes, threw one inning before lightning suspended play. She came back just as strong though, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out three through the fourth inning.

After the delay, Team USA also came back out strong on offense. Back-to-back doubles from Jade Gortarez (Riverside, Calif.) and Malaika Underwood (San Diego, Calif.) scored the game's first run, while a two-out, two-RBI single from Kimbrell capped the five-run bottom of the first.

The squad followed that with a three-run second inning that featured another double from Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.) - her third in the last two games - that scored two and brought the lead to 8-0 in favor of the stars and stripes.

Neither team could get anything going in the third inning, but Korea did manage to break through in the top of the fourth. The run marked the first Team USA has given up in the 2018 tournament and ended the U.S. pitching staff's streak of 13-straight scoreless innings.

The red, white and blue had an immediate answer in the bottom half though. Baltzell's bat remained hot as she got the momentum rolling with a single through the right side before Michelle Cobb (Wenatchee, Wash.) brought her home with a RBI double to make it 9-1.

A walk to Samantha Cobb (Garland, Texas) set the stage for Kimbrell, who launched her third double of the night to put Team USA back in front by double digits.

Emily Tsujikawa (Redmond, Wash.) came in for the top of the fifth inning to close it out as the team earned its third run-rule victory in as many games by a final score of 11-1.

The U.S. will play its first day game of the 2018 World Cup next as it matches up against Venezuela on Saturday, August 25, at 12 p.m. ET at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Florida. The game will be streamed live on the WBSC YouTube channel, as well as on Facebook.

Continue to follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the Women's National Team.

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WNT

Team USA Dominates Netherlands for Second Win

Megan Baltzell went 2-for-3 with four RBI and two doubles
August 24, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 R H E
Team USA 7 3 1 7 0 18 11 1
Netherlands 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 5
Win: B. Schutte Loss: L. Bergwerff Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-play | World Cup Stats
 

VIERA, FLA. - Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.) launched two RBI doubles and four members of Team USA had multi-hit games in an 18-0 defeat of the Netherlands in the squad's second game of the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup on Thursday night. The U.S. improved to 2-0 in the tournament with the win.

For the second consecutive day, first pitch of Team USA's game was delayed due to weather, but that didn't slow the team down. It exploded for 11 hits in the contest, scoring seven runs in both the first and the fourth innings and adding to the lead in four of the game's five frames.

Taking advantage of early walks, hit-by-pitches and some clutch hitting to load the bases three times in the first inning, the U.S. once again jumped out to an early commanding lead that it wouldn't relinquish.

In one of those bases-loaded situations, Amanda Gianelloni (Napoleonville, La.) dropped a two-out double into the left-center gap to score three and bring up leadoff hitter Brittany Gomez (New Braunfels, Texas). In her second plate appearance of the inning, Gomez came up with a two-out RBI hit of her own to extend the lead to 7-0.

The second and third innings brought much of the same from the stars and stripes as they pushed four more runs across to five Team USA a 11-0 lead. The scoring was highlighted by another two-out hit, this time a double to the centerfield wall off the bat of Baltzell.

Baltzell finished 2-for-3 with four RBI, three runs scored and a walk in the contest.

In the fourth inning, Baltzell's bat highlighted the scoring once again as her second double of the night pushed two of the inning's seven runs across and Team USA put the game out of reach for the 18-0 win.

Brittany Schutte (Gainesville, Fla.) got the start for the red, white and blue on Thursday night and turned in three strong innings of work, allowing just two walks while striking out three. Laura Collins (Hollywood, Fla.) gave up the only two hits Team USA allowed as she and Meggie Meidlinger (Sterling, Va.) both tossed one clean inning apiece in relief.

Gianelloni finished the game with five RBI, two hits and a run scored, while Gomez went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Malaika Underwood (San Diego, Calif.) also collected two hits and Michelle Cobb (Wenatchee, Wash.) drew three walks in the contest.

The next game for the U.S. will be Friday, August 24, against Korea at 6 p.m. ET at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Florida. The game will be streamed live on the WBSC YouTube channel.

Continue to follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the Women's National Team.

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Team USA Opens World Cup with Dominant 14-0 Win

Stacy Piagno fans six in complete game gem
August 23, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 R H E
Puerto Rico 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Team USA 11 3 0 0 0 14 7 1
Win: S. Piagno Loss: M. Gomez Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-play
 

VIERA, FLA. - A complete game shutout performance from Stacy Piagno (St. Augustine, Fla.) and a two-RBI triple from Malaika Underwood (San Diego, Calif.) to open the scoring highlighted a 14-0 victory for the USA Baseball Women's National Team in its opening game of the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup in Viera, Florida, on Wednesday night.

Team USA dominated the game right from the start, chasing two pitchers and scoring 11 runs in the first inning to back up Piagno's stellar start.

A leadoff walk to Brittany Gomez (New Braunfels, Texas) followed by a hit-by-pitch brought Underwood to the plate, who wasted no time getting the U.S. on the board. She knocked a triple over the centerfielder to clear the bases and give the red, white and blue a quick 2-0 lead that it wouldn't relinquish.

Taking advantage of three more walks and three more hit-by-pitches, Team USA loaded the bases four times and brought in nine more runs before Puerto Rico was able to get out of the inning.

On the bump, Piagno tossed a four-hit gem to keep Puerto Rico off the board. The right-hander set the tone for the win with a quick three up, three down first inning and never looked back. She fanned six without issuing a walk or allowing a run in her five innings of work.

Puerto Rico looked to ruin the shutout in the third inning when the team loaded the bases with no outs after a hit-by-pitch, an error and a single. But Team USA managed to escape the jam unscathed with a groundout and a double play that ended the threat.

After its big first inning, the U.S. plated three more in the second for a 14-0 advantage before going quietly in the third and fourth.

Underwood and Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.) both collected multiple hits and three RBI in the victory, while Jade Gortarez (Riverside, Calif.) went 1-for-2 with a walk, two RBI and two runs scored. AJ Hamilton (Tallahassee, Fla.) also tallied three RBI for the stars and stripes and leadoff hitter Gomez drew three walks on the night.

With the win, Team USA opened the 2018 WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup 1-0 and will play its next game against the Netherlands at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, August 23, at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Fla. The game will be streamed live on the WBSC YouTube channel.

Continue to follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the Women's National Team.

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