Instructional Clinic Offers Unparalleled One-on-One Opportunity

September 1, 2007

CARY, NC- The USA Baseball Women’s National Team opened their International Friendship Series by offering an instructional clinic for girls aged 8-21. The clinic featured coaches and players from the Women’s National Team as well as USA Baseball’s General Manager of National Teams Eric Campbell. The youth players learned valuable lessons on the fundamentals of baseball while enjoying the pristine surroundings of the brand new USA Baseball National Training Complex at Thomas Brooks Park. The well-attended event even reached young competitors in New York as one girl and her family drove down from the Bronx to enjoy this one-of-a-kind experience.

“It was a pleasure to see these young women out here eager to learn about this great game,” said Campbell. “Seeing these girls enthusiasm today shows that there is a bright future for women’s baseball.”

The clinic is the first of its kind held by USA Baseball. The National Governing Body and the Town of Cary hold a joint clinic open to both boys and girls each April. For more information on these and other USA Baseball events, please go to our website at www.usabaseball.com.

International Friendship Series Day 1 Ends With Japan on Top

CARY, NC- The Inaugural Women’s Baseball International Friendship series opened today with a match-up between the two visiting countries of Canada and Japan. The game featured stellar pitching and defense as the teams combined for only 2 runs and 8 hits. Japan struck early with two runs in the first on a single, a hit batter, and a timely double by designated hitter Risa Nakashima. The Canadians threatened in the third after loading the bases on a hit, a fielder’s choice, and a walk, but could not capitalize on the situation. A Canadian runner did not travel further than second base for the rest of the game as Japanese pitchers Mayuko Abe and Yui Shingu allowed only two more hits. It was an all-around well-played game with both squads deserving credit for their excellent efforts.

The day’s second game featured host country USA against their North American rival Canada. Once again the scoring occurred early as the Canadians jumped on USA starting pitcher Molly McKesson for five runs (three of them earned). Canadians Ashley Stephenson, Amanda Asay, and Genevieve Beauchamp strung together three straight singles and scored three of the five runs that put the Americans at an early deficit. The uphill climb proved to be too much for the USA squad as Canadian pitcher Marie-Joseé Tremblay gave up only four hits in a complete game-shutout effort. The lone bright spot for the Americans occurred in the sixth inning when left fielder Tamara Holmes smacked a 2-out triple down the right field line. It looked as though the home team had the beginnings of a two-out rally, but Tremblay quickly stymied the effort by inducing a soft ground ball out. After a tough loss, the U.S. team looked to rebound against a tough Japanese team in the night cap.

The final game of day one pitted the two historic baseball rivals in their first friendship series game. It was the first U.S.-Japan match-up since the Americans won the gold medal game at last year’s Women’s World Championship in Taiwan. The game got off to a bit of a rocky start as visiting Japan’s first two batters reached base on a walk and an error. Behind starting pitcher Meggie Meidlinger, Team USA quickly rebounded to shut down the next three batters and showed signs of life following the afternoon’s difficult defeat. With one out in the first, shortstop Malaika Underwood ripped a triple to left center, leaving the Americans an excellent scoring opportunity. Japanese starter Yukari Isozaki quickly foiled the effort to keep the score knotted at zeros. After a spectacular diving catch by catcher Anna Kimbrel in the second, Team USA shut out the Japanese through the fifth while surrendering only three hits. The Americans started the scoring in the fourth inning by pushing a run across on base hits by Lindsay Horwitz and Alex Hebert. In the same inning, the U.S. team loaded the bases but could not plate any more runs. This proved to be an ominous sign as the coming innings would bring an unstoppable Japanese onslaught. In the sixth and seventh innings, multiple U.S. pitchers could not find the strike zone, resulting in thirteen Japanese runs on only four hits. The Japanese team really took advantage of multiple U.S. mistakes, and while the Americans certainly gave everything they had, they will be looking forward to the new day that tomorrow brings.

USA Baseball is the National Governing Body of the sport in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The organization selects and trains the USA Baseball National Team, the USA Baseball Junior National Team (18 and under), the USA Baseball Youth National Team (16 and under), the USA Baseball 14U National Team (14 and under) and the USA Baseball Women’s National Team, which participate in various international competitions each year.

Women's International Friendship Series - September 1-3, 2007

International Friendship Series Standings:
Japan: 2-0
Canada: 1-1
United States: 0-2

Saturday, September 1, 2007
Canada 0 vs. Japan 2
Canada 5 vs. USA 0
Japan 13 vs. USA 1

Sunday, September 2, 2007 - Gates open at 9 a.m. Admission: Free
Japan vs. USA 10 a.m.
Japan vs. Canada 2 p.m.
USA vs. Canada 6 p.m.

Monday, September 3, 2007 - Gates open at 7 a.m. Admission: Free
USA vs. Canada 8 a.m.
USA vs. Japan 12 p.m.
Canada vs. Japan 4 p.m.