WNT: U.S. storms back for win over Australia
U.S. scores three in seventh to complete comeback
EDMONTON, Alberta -- The USA Baseball Women's National Team erased a five-run deficit to score an 11-8 comeback victory over Australia. The win improves the U.S. to 2-0 in World Cup play.
Five Australian errors proved costly as it helped the Red, White and Blue rally from a 7-2 deficit to pick up the win. Two of the errors came in the decisive seventh inning when the U.S. scored three times to break an 8-all tie. Five of Team USA's runs were unearned, while two of the three runs scored in the seventh were not earned.
Australia used a seven-run third inning to take a commanding 7-2 lead, but the U.S. started pecking away at the deficit in the fourth inning and eventually completed the rally in the top of the sixth.
Mackenzie Vandergeest worked a lead-off walk in the sixth. Alexa Maldonado laid down a sacrifice bunt that was misplayed by the Australians and the U.S. had the tying runs on base. Another sacrifice bunt attempt, this time from Jill Barrett, went awry for Australia, loading the bases with only one out. Tamara Holmes came through with a clutch two-out hit that plated two runs, tying the game at eight.
Stacy Piagno (1-0) was huge for Team USA in relief of Marti Sementelli. She retired the Australians in order in the sixth helping the U.S. complete the comeback.
Caitlin Everett led off the inning with a base hit and quickly stole second. Three batters later the bases were loaded with only one out. A grounder off the bat of Natalie Land gave the U.S. an 8-7 lead. Back-to-back errors on the infield cost the Australians two more runs and gave the U.S. breathing room with an 11-8 lead.
The USA had jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, scoring a run each in the first and third innings.
After Australia's seven-run third, Team USA responded with two of its own in the fourth. Holmes and Underwood traded places with back-to-back doubles to open the inning. Underwood was standing on third with two outs for Vandergeest, who ripped an RBI-single through the left side to make it 7-4.
Australia pushed the lead to four, 8-4, in the fourth, but from there Piagno shut the door as she faced just one batter over the minimum the rest of the way.
Sementelli was touched for seven runs in 2 1/3 innings of work. Piagno surrendered just one run on four hits and struck out two in 4 2/3 innings.
The USA Baseball Women's National Team (2-0) will play Japan (2-0) Sunday night at Telus Field. First pitch against Japan is set for 9:30 p.m. (ET).