July 22, 2013
SURREY, Canada -Tennessee's Raven Chavanne and Lauren Gibson and their Team USA teammates were contained offensively on Sunday night as Japanese ace Yukiki Ueno tossed a two-hit shutout to hand the U.S. a 5-0 loss in the playoffs of the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship.
Japan scored all five of its runs in the fifth inning. Ueno struck out 10 while allowing just two baserunners. The loss was Team USA's first in the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship. The Americans will play Australia tonight at 8 p.m. ET and the winner will face Japan in the title game against at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Sunday night's loss also marked the first time this summer that Gibson had been held hitless for Team USA. She had previously recorded a hit in nine consecutive contests.
Team USA's pitchers combined to allow five runs on seven hits and four walks. Starter Jessica Moore took the loss after being tagged with five runs on six hits and three walks. Cheridan Hawkins, Sarah Nevins and Aimee Creger all threw in relief.
Ueno mowed down the U.S. hitters in 1-2-3 fashion through the first four innings. Chidester hit a leadoff single to start the fifth inning and moved to second base on a sac bunt by Valerie Arioto. Rhea Taylor pinch ran for Chidester and advanced to third on a one-out single by Nicole Hudson. Ueno left the U.S. runners stranded when she struck out Amber Freeman and catcher Yukiyo Mine picked off Taylor at third base. That was Team USA's only inning with runners on base.
Moore relieved Hawkins in the bottom of the fifth and Japan took a 2-0 lead when Yujiu Hayashi hit a two-RBI single with one out and the bases loaded. Mine followed with an RBI single in the next at-bat. After Misa Okubo was hit by a pitch to load the bases once again Sonoka Kuniyoshi drove in Hayashi from third base on a fielder's choice. Rie Nagayoshi followed with an RBI single to plate Mine and round out Japan's scoring at five runs.