Mizzou's Chelsea Thomas Pitches Solid Game for Team USA
GUADALAJARA, MEXICIO - The USA Softball Women's National team continued to shut down its opposition at the Pan American games with a 10-0 decisive victory in four innings over Dominican Republic on Tuesday afternoon. Winning pitcher Mizzou's Chelsea Thomas recorded a solid performance from circle for the Red, White and Blue tossing four complete innings with seven strikeouts and allowing just two hits. The U.S. moves to 2-0 in round-robin play and will return to the Pan American Softball Stadium Tuesday evening for match up with host country Mexico. Game time is approximately 8:30 p.m.
From the plate the U.S. recorded 10 runs on five hits and was led by Stacy May-Johnson who was 2-for-3 with four RBI. Michelle Moultrie was right behind with three RBI and a 2-for-2 outing with two runs scored.
"I think the door was open early for us and we took advantage of it scoring six runs in the first," said May-Johnson. "We jumped on that opportunity and it helped us set the tone defensively too. Every time we step on this field we want to come away with a win and getting ahead early really helped us."
To lead the first inning, speedster Moultrie beat out a base hit bunt for a single, then advanced to second on a passed ball and stole third all within the first seven pitches of the first inning. Kelly Grieve then earned a base on balls before May-Johnson connected on a triple to right center giving the U.S. a 2-0 lead scoring Moultrie and Grieve.
May-Johnson later scored in the inning for the third U.S. run on a passed ball that was Valerie Arioto's ball No. 4 of her at bat. Designated Player Keilani Ricketts then was also issued a base on balls to load the bags for Lauren Gibson who was hit by a pitch that scored the fourth run. Two more runs were added as the line up batted around and Moultrie drove in a two-RBI double for the 6-0 lead in the first.
With two outs, Dominican saw its first runner reach base in the bottom of the second when a wild Thomas pitch hit batter Rosaury Perez. Another wild pitch advanced pinch runner Kenia Benzant into scoring position but Thomas settled down striking out the final out, her fourth strikeout in seven batters faced.
Arioto led the top of third inning reaching base after being hit in the ankle on a pitch from new Dominican pitcher Dhariana Furcal. U.S. catcher Meagan May then dropped a blooper base hit up the middle advancing Arioto to third. With one out, Gibson then loaded the bases after being hit in the back, recording the third hit-by-pitch for Team USA. Moultrie earned a walk to give the U.S. a 7-0 lead with one out and the bases loaded. An eighth run was walked in by pitcher Furcal before two more runs were scored thanks to a May-Johnson double to centerfield for the 10-0 advantage.
The U.S. bats were quiet in the fourth inning while the Dominican team did see a runner reach second base in the bottom of the inning. Furcal singled to the infield and advanced to second on a wild pitch, but Thomas closed out the victory with a strikeout to end the game.