Oct. 17, 2003
NANJING, CHINA - The USA Softball Junior Women continued to dominate its opponents in World Championship action finishing pool play at 6-0 with a 10-0 margin of victory over Russia. UCLA-affiliated players combined to go 7-for-12 with three extra-base hits, four RBIs and five runs scored in the game. The win secures the No. 1 Pool B seed in playoff action for the USA beginning October 18. At 8:00 p.m. (8:00 a.m. EST) they will battle the No. 2 seed from Pool A (winner of China/Australia).
It didn't take long for the U.S. bats to spark batting through the line up in the second inning putting six runs on the board. On a four game hit streak, Caitlin Benyi continued her hot swing with a base hit to left center to lead the U.S. A hard hit double to right center from the shortstop, UCLA's Lisa Dodd, plated Benyi to put the first run on the board for the U.S. Designated player Desiree Williams then took a 1-1 pitch deep to left center for her second homerun of the tournament. But a 3-0 lead didn't satisfy the U.S. as the Russian pitchers struggled with back to back walks before Caitlin Lowe connected on her 12th hit of the tournament. Norrelle Dickson contributed an RBI single through the right side advancing Lowe who later stole home. Emily Zaplatosch later added her seventh hit of the week with two outs allowing Dickson to score for the 6-0 lead.
The U.S. lead increased to 8-0 in the bottom of the third after Kristie Fox doubled to left center. The two RBI hit plated Williams, who reached on a walk, and Andrea Duran (Selma, CA), who singled through the left side.
The bat of Benyi struck again in the fourth as she blasted her second homerun of the tournament and sixth for Team USA. With UCLA freshman Jaisa Creps at third base after a triple to right field, the Benyi two run shot pushed the U.S. to the eventual 10-0 mercy rule win.
"We were a little more intense and we knew we had to win the game today," Benyi said. "We really just wanted to go out there and do our best because this game would help us in the playoffs."
The Russian offense connected with just one hit in the game as winning pitcher Brianne McGowan tossed a complete game for the U.S. Consistent from the circle, she tallied two strikeouts in her second victory of the tournament and continued the 0.00 overall ERA from the U.S. pitching staff.
Marking the fourth shutout for the U.S. and sixth mercy rule victory, the USA Junior Women have outscored its opponents 57-2. As a team they are batting .507 and have allowed just eight hits in six games.