Women's Team wins cup opener, 11-5
Kristin Caldwell picked up the win over Chinese Taipei
Caldwell limited Chinese Taipei to two runs on seven hits while striking out one to earn the win (1-0). Anna Kimbrell struck out one in two innings of hitless relief to pick up the save. Outfielder Lilly Jacobsen and third baseman Donna Mills added three hits apiece to lead Team USA's 14-hit attack ,and seven different players recorded at least one RBI in the win.
"I feel good about our play," said manager Brian Bright. "It was our first game in the World Cup and we played hard from the first pitch until the end of the game. We focused on controlling the things that we are able to control, and that's how we were able to come up with a positive result."
Team USA struck first in the top of the second on shortstop Jane Uh's one-out double to left-center, scoring designated hitter Bridget Veenema, who had reached first on a fielder's choice.
Team USA added a run (2-0) in the third as Jacobsen drove in Costes from second with a single to center that took a large bounce over the center fielder.
Chinese Taipei cut the lead in half at 2-1 in bottom of the third, putting runners on first and third with two outs for designated hitter Pan Chia Hui, who singled to center to score Liao Yen Han.
Team USA extended the lead to 5-1 in the fourth on Veenema's RBI double to left and a run-scoring single by second baseman Malaika Underwood. Team USA then loaded the bases with one out for Costes, who cashed in a run with a sacrifice fly to right. Tara Harbert tried to advance to second on the play but was tagged out by shortstop Tsai Ming Chen to end the inning.
In the bottom of the frame, Chinese Taipei threatened with runners on second and third with one out. Huang Yi Feng scored from third on a throwing error by Uh, but, with two outs, Chang Man Hsuan popped up a bunt to Caldwell, who made a diving catch for the third out.
Leading 7-2, right-hander Megan Meidlinger picked up for Caldwell in the bottom of the sixth but ran into trouble, walking the first three batters she faced. Pinch-hitter Su Ya Ling hit a grounder to Lemasters who went to home for the force but catcher Veronica Alvarez was unable to hold onto the ball, allowing a run to score. Meidlinger then walked in a run and Team USA went to Kimbrell who induced a grounder to first. Lemasters and Alvarez connected at home plate for the first out but Tsai Ming Chen's grounder to short plated another run to cut the lead to 7-5. The ensuing batter was hit by the pitch to load the bases again, but Tsai I Ting grounded to short to end the inning.
Uh and Alvarez drew consecutive one-out walks in the USA seventh, and Underwood singled to right to load the bases. Tara Herbert drew a four-pitch walk to bring in a run, and Costes singled to right to give Team USA a 10-5 lead. Lemasters drove in a run to cap the scoring for the team.
Kimbrell retired the side in order in the seventh.
Note: Live scoring is available at ibaf.org.