July 18, 2013
SURREY, Canada -- Lauren Gibson and Raven Chavanne helped bolster an impressive showing from the top of the Team USA lineup Wednesday night as the Americans crushed Japan, 10-3, in the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship.
Team USA, which is now 2-0 in the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship, jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and scored two more in the second. Amber Freeman's grand slam in the sixth gave the Red, White and Blue the win by run rule and its first victory over Japan in three meetings this summer.
Gibson extended her Team USA hitting streak this summer to six games with a 2-for-3 effort, one double, three runs scored and one RBI. Chavanne was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and continued her strong play at the hot corner with three defensive assists. Freeman led the Americans offensively with a 3-for-4 showing, one homer, six RBIs and one run.
Jessica Moore earned her second win of the summer, throwing four innings with three earned runs allowed and three strikeouts. Sara Nevins had two strikeouts over two scoreless relief frames.
Miki Kozono took the loss for Japan after allowing six earned runs over three innings. Nana Okamura threw 2.1 relief frames with three strikeouts and three earned runs given up.
Chavanne and Gibson played a big role in Team USA's hot start in the first inning. Michelle Moultrie singled to lead off the bottom of the first and Chavanne followed with a single of her own in the next at-bat. Gibson's RBI single on a 0-1 pitch scored Moultrie and gave the Stars and Stripes a 1-0 lead. Chavanne scored on an bases-loaded single by Freeman and Gibson scored on a fielder's choice by Taylor Hoagland to push the U.S. lead to 3-0. Valerie Arioto scored on a fielder's choice by Lindsey Ziegenhirt.
Japan got on the scoreboard in the top of the second when Yukie Hayashi's RBI single plated Hakura Agatsuma from second base.
The Americans piled on two more runs in the bottom of the second. Moultrie led off the inning once again with a single and later scored on an RBI single by Freeman. Gibson was hit by a pitch on a 1-1 count and later scored when Hoagland grounded out 1-4-3.
Japan scored one run in the fourth off an RBI single by Misa Okubo and one run in the fifth when Natsuko Ono scored from third after Mana Atsumi grounded out to third. Heading in to the sixth, Japan had climbed back to within 6-3.
In the bottom of the sixth, Chavanne knocked a one-out single off Okamura and Gibson reached on an error at second base. Arioto followed with a four-pitch walk to load the bases with one out. Freeman delivered with a walk-off grand slam to end the game early.
Team USA will play two games tonight, first facing Australia at 6:30 p.m. ET and then taking on Venezuela at 11:30 p.m. ET. Both games feature free live stats and a live video stream for a fee through CanadianOpenFastpitch.com. Click the above links for more information.