Haarlem, Netherlands - The USA Softball Women’s National Team made and early statement at the International Softball Federation (ISF) Women’s World Championship on Friday when they run-ruled the host country, the Netherlands, 10-0 in 3.5 innings to move to 1-0 in the pool-play portion of the tournament. Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) led the way with six RBI in a 2-2 performance at the plate that included a two-run homer in the second inning and grand slam in the fourth. Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif.) lead the way from the circle pitching four complete innings and allowing just two hits.
“On this team we really have 17 leaders,” said USA Head Coach Ken Eriksen. “It’s just a matter of which of those leaders are going to step up on a given night. Tonight it was Amanda Chidester from the plate and Jessica Moore in the circle. They set the tone and the rest of the team followed.”
The first inning was not indicative of the final score as both teams struggled to get much going offensively. Aside from a Raven Chavanne (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) walk, neither team managed a base runner and the 0-0 score stretched into the second. Moore gave up a one-out single but retired the next two Netherland batters to preserve the shutout.
In the bottom of the second Team USA broke open the scoreless game when, with Lauren Gibson (Pasadena, Md.) on first, Chidester sent the first pitch of her at-bat deep over the left field fence to give the Americans a 2-0 lead.
“It was such a great feeling to get that first home run and put our team up,” said Chidester. “Jessica (Moore) was pitching a great game and I knew if we could put together some runs early it would be hard for them to come back against her.”
The 2-0 USA lead lasted through the top of the third as Moore notched her second three up, three down inning of the game. In the bottom half Team USA blew the game open with eight runs on seven hits, two walks and an error. The inning was highlighted by Chidester’s full-count bomb over the left field wall with the based loaded that made the score USA 8, Netherlands 0.
“A few days ago I asked Coach (Howard) Dobson to tell me one thing he thought could improve my swing,” said Chidester. “He gave me a few drills to work on and since then I’ve felt very comfortable at the plate. He deserves credit for what he and the rest of the coaching staff have done to get us ready for this event. They put us in positions to make big plays and fortunately tonight I had the opportunity to come through with some big hits for the team.”
The Americans added two more runs in the inning and held a 10-0 advantage when the dust settled.
Britt Vonk doubled in the top of the fourth for the Netherlands but Moore managed to get three other batters to ground out in the at-bat stranding her on base and the USA Women went away with their first win of the 2014 ISF World Championship.
The Americans will next face Botswana at 12:30 p.m. (5:30 a.m. CDT) on Saturday. Live streaming and live stats are available via www.USASoftball.com throughout the ISF World Championship. Log on and follow Team USA as they seek a tenth World Championship Gold.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 165,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2.5 million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of the only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles including the last seven consecutive as well as claimed six World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com.
Headquartered in Plant City, Florida (USA), the ISF is a member of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), the world governing body for the sport which is recognized by the International Olympic Committee and SportAccord (formerly the General Association of International Sports Federations). Softball (women’s fast pitch) made its Olympic debut at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. There are 127 affiliated countries in the ISF and millions of participants in the sport worldwide.