TEAM USA HANDLES CUBA
August 4, 2006
Box Score | Scoreboard/Results
TAIPEI, Taiwan --- Team USA recorded its highest number of runs scored and hits in the 2006 IBAF Women's World Cup with a 14-4 win over Cuba Friday at Tienmu Baseball Stadium. Kim Braatz-Voisard (Phoenix, AZ) and Malaika Underwood (San Diego, CA) recorded three hits apiece to lead the team as the 10-run mercy rule prompted the game to end after six innings. With the win, Team USA climbed to 3-1 while Cuba dropped to 0-4.
Third baseman Donna Mills (Lynn, MA) increased her RBI total to a team-high nine with three runs batted in on 2 for 5 hitting. Underwood, designated hitter Lilly Jacobson (Reno, NV) and catcher Lacy Prejean (Lafayette, LA) added two RBI apiece in the winning effort.
"Our bats came alive today," said Team USA manager Julie Croteau. "Our offense and defense were very strong and our pitchers kept us in the game."
Team USA jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first, on an RBI single by Mills and a two-run double by Braatz-Voisard. Jacobson followed with a double to plate Braatz-Voisard.
Cuba quickly answered in the bottom of the inning with three runs. After a pair of bases-loaded singles cut the lead to 4-2, Team USA went to the bullpen to Molly McKesson to relieve starter Megan Meidlinger. McKesson committed a balk, allowing a third run to score but Naila Moya lined into a double play and McKesson induced Inima Vazquez to hit a grounder to third to end the rally.
"Molly did a great job today," said Croteau. "She came in under pressure and she shut down Cuba. We have to approach each game as though it was game seven and Molly really came through."
Team USA added to its lead in the top of the second on a two-RBI double by Mills and a run-scoring single by Braatz-Voisard. Jacobson drove in Mills with her first triple of the tournament to give Team USA an 8-3 lead.
McKesson held Cuba scoreless through four innings and improved to 2-0 after striking out three, walking one and yielding just one hit to improve to 2-0 in the tournament.
Team USA continued the scoring in the sixth, loading the bases for Tamara Ivie (Long Beach, CA), whose fly ball to right was dropped by Vania Cabrera, allowing a run to score. Prejean was hit by the pitch and Keri Lemasters (Santa Clarita, CA) hit a sacrifice fly to center. With two on, Malaika Underwood (San Diego, CA) cleared the bases, belting a triple to center, completing the five-run sixth.
Lemasters retired the sixth in order, striking out two. Reliever Trista Russo allowed a run in the fifth while giving up two hits. Meidlinger gave up three on five hits in her first start of the tournament.
Team USA continues action Saturday at 2:30 against Chinese Taipei.
Records: Team USA, 3-1; Cuba, 0-4