Aug. 9, 2013
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - The USA Softball Women's National Team secured the No. 1 seed in the Mayor's Cup playoffs with a 4-1 win over Cuba on Thursday.
The playoffs were originally scheduled to start Thursday evening, but rain in the area pushed those games to Friday. Team USA will face No. 2 seed Cuba again on Friday at 1 p.m. ET for the gold medal. CLIC HERE for links to stats and a pay-per-view live video stream.
Tennessee's Raven Chavanne and Lauren Gibson started at third base and second base, respectively, once again with Chavanne batting second and Gibson hitting third in the lineup. Chavanne went 2-for-3 with one run. Gibson was 1-for-3 with a double.
Team USA never trailed, building a 3-0 lead after three frames before Cuba scored one run in the top of the fourth. The Americans added one more run in the bottom of the sixth.
Jessica Moore earned the win for the U.S. after throwing 3.2 frames with one earned run allowed and one strikeout. Cheridan Hawkins tossed 3.1 scoreless relief frames with eight strikeouts.
Marlen Bubaire Benitez took the loss for Cuba after issuing four earned runs and striking out four over 5.2 frames. Yilliam Torres Bargas got the final out of the sixth.
Chavanne drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the first and advanced to third base on a two-out single to right field by Amanda Chidester. Chavanne scored on a double steal to give Team USA the 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second, Nicole Hudson hit a solo homer to right to extend the Americans' lead to 2-0.
The U.S. lead grew to 3-0 in the bottom of the third. Michelle Moultrie and Chavanne opened the inning with back-to-back singles. Chidester's sac fly to deep center field scored Moultrie.
Cuba scored its lone run of the game in the top of the fourth. With runners on the corners, Yarisleidis Casanova hit into a fielder's choice that scored Maritza Toledo from third base.
Team USA rounded out its scoring in the bottom of the sixth when Taylor Thom hit a sac fly to right to plate Rhea Taylor.