Aug 17, 2013
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - With a 8-2 win over Canada late Friday night and a 5-0 triumph over Cuba on Saturday, the USA Softball Women's National Team has advanced to Sunday's gold medal game of the Pan American Games Qualifier.
Team USA will play in the championship game at 3 p.m. ET against the winner of the 1 p.m. game between Cuba and Canada.
USA 5, Cuba 0
Team USA scored two in the second and three in the fifth to advance to Sunday's gold medal game.
Cheridan Hawkins earned the win after fanning five and tossing four shutout innings. Jessica Moore had three strikeouts in three scoreless relief frames.
Marlen Bubaire Benitez took the loss for Cuba after allowing two earned runs over four frames.
Chidester and Arioto led off the second inning with back-to-back jacks to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead.
In the top of the fifth, Chavanne singled with two on and no outs to load the bases. Gibson followed with a sac fly to center field to plate Lindsey Ziegenhirt. Chidester had a sac hit and advanced to second on an error in the following at-bat and Michelle Moultrie scored Team USA's fourth run. Arioto then hit an RBI single to plate Chavanne.
USA 8, Canada 2 (LATE FRIDAY)
Eight hours of rain delays pushed the start of Friday's game to 10:15 p.m. ET and it didn't finish until 12:44 a.m.
Team USA poured on seven runs in the second inning to take command of the game. The Canadians never closed in any closer than five runs as the U.S. took an 8-2 victory.
Lauren Gibson was 2-for-2 with one RBI, one run and two walks. Raven Chavanne had a hit, an RBI and a run. Lindsey Ziegenhirt had her best game for Team USA this summer, going 2-for-3 with one homer, one double, two RBIs and two runs.
Sarah Nevins earned the win after striking out four and allowing two earned runs over five frames. Jessica Moore and Cheridan Hawkins each tossed one scoreless relief inning.
Canada's Jenna Caira was tagged with the loss after allowing six runs (one earned) in 1.1 innings.
In the second inning, Taylor Thom reached with one out on an error by the shortstop and Valerie Arioto scored on the play to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead. Ziegenhirt followed with an RBI double and three batters later Chavanne connected for an RBI single. With one out and the bases loaded, Gibson drew a walk to drive in Destinee Martinez. Amanda Chidester had a sac fly to right field to plate Team USA's fifth run. With the bases loaded two batters later, Lauren Chamberlain hit a two-RBI single to plate both Chavanne and Gibson.
Canada got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning when Heather Ebert hit an RBI single to plate Caitlin Lever. In the bottom of the fifth, the Canadians pulled to within 7-2 when Sara Hopwood hit a one-out sac fly to left to score Lever.
The Americans added one more run in the top of the seventh when Ziegenhirt hit a solo home run with one out.