July 31, 2002
Saskatoon, SK, Canada - The United States improved to 5-0 at the Women's World Softball Championship with a 9-0 win over Chinese Taipei Tuesday night at Bob Van Impe Stadium.
Jessica Mendoza(Camarillo, Calif.), who recorded three hits in the game, roped a pair of two-run triples and Stacey Nuveman (La Verne, Calif.) added a two-run home run to highlight Team USA's 13-hit effort at the plate.
KeiraGoerl(Moreno Valley, Calif.) threw a three-hitter for the win in a game that was shortened to five runs due to the mercy-rule. Goerl had two strikeouts and issued an equal number of walks.
"Everything starts in the circle, and we feel good about the way our pitching staff is performing," said USA head coach Mike Candrea. "Our pitching staff realizes they have a job to do and they have been up to the task."
Su-Hua Lin, Chinese Taipei's starter, took the loss after giving up seven earned runs in three innings. Chia-Yen Wu entered the game in the midst of the fourth inning and went the remainder of the contest.
The U.S. scored four runs in its first at-bat and tacked on five more in a strikingly similar fourth frame.
Both scoring stints started with Natasha Watley (Irvine, Calif.) legging out high choppers back to the pitcher and Leah O'Brien-Amico (Chino Hills, Calif.) following with slap-singles to the left-side of the infield. Mendoza then sliced her triples, driving both baserunners home. From there, the innings took different turns, but the end result was the same - Team USA runners crossing the plate.
In the opening inning, where the first seven U.S. batters of the game reached base safely, Nuveman followed Mendoza with an RBI-single through the left-side of the infield and Lovieanne Jung (Fountain Valley, Calif.) eventually brought Nuveman in on an RBI-single to left.
In the fourth, Nuveman drove the softball high and hard over the left-field fence for the home run that also scored Mendoza. Later in the inning, Nicole Giordano (Saugus, Calif.) tripled to left field to score Nina Lindenberg(Anaheim Hills, Calif.) for the final run of the game.
"Right now we seem to be clicking on all cylinders and our bats are really hot," said Nuveman.
Chinese Taipei (3-2) worked a runner to third in both the top of the fourth and fifth innings, but Goerl and her supporting defense worked out of the jam.
Back-to-back singles with one out in the fourth put Chinese Taipei in its prime scoring position, but a grounder to second turned into the second out of the inning when Jung fired the ball home to Nuveman, who placed the tag on the runner trying to score. The ensuing batter grounded out to Jung to close the inning.
Team USA, which has won all five of its game by shutout, continues its pursuit of a fifth straight World Championship with a game against China Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. China is also 5-0 at the tournament.
"We've been trying to instill in our players to go out and be the aggressor," said Candrea. "I thought tonight we did that and continued to play with a lot of emotion."