BRAMPTON, Ont. - Freshmen Cheridan Hawkins and Danica Mercado and the USA Softball Junior National Team (8-0) continued to roll in Friday's Junior World Championships playoff opener with a five-inning 7-0 win over Australia (6-2).

Hawkins (3-0) won her third straight start, struck out four, walked none and allowed only one hit in her 4.1 innings.

Pac-12 counterpart - UCLA freshman Paige McDuffee - got the final two outs, and allowed one hit, and posted no strikeouts or walks.

Mercado rapped a single in the third inning, and the starting second baseman ended the contest with a 1-for-3 effort at the plate.

Three American players ended with multiple hits - Emily Crane (2-for-3), Mysha Sataraka (2-for-3, double) and Sierra Romero (2-for-3, triple). Jessica Plaza added the team's fourth extra-base hit -  a homer in the first inning.

Aussie starter Amelia Cudicio got the loss after she gave up one walk, three extra-base hits and four earned runs to start the game.

Brittney Flint followed, and in the final 3.2 innings she allowed two strikeouts, three walks, eight hits and three earned runs.

Australia's lone hits were a fourth-inning double by Rachel Lack and fifth-inning single by Maddie Cameron.

"We were tested a little bit more today," USA Head Coach Tairia Flowers said. "The ball was put in play more and the girls faced some tough pitching.  It took us a little bit to make adjustments, but the girls stepped up and found a way to score runs.  Our defense made key plays, throwing out some base runners, and Sierra Romero made some great plays at shortstop.  It was definitely a team effort and I can’t speak more highly of this group and how well they interact and play together."

For the tournament, Hawkins continues to lead the U.S. squad in innings (14.1), strikeouts (21), walks (0), hits allowed (2) and starts (3).

Mercado owns a tournament batting average of .417 (5-for-12), and is one of 11 American players hitting above .400.

Looking ahead, playoff action resumes Saturday with the USA facing Japan at 2 p.m. Pacific Time. The latter team defeated New Zealand, 4-1, on Friday, and Saturday's winner will advance to Sunday's JWWC finals.

 

UPCOMING GAMES

Playoffs- Saturday (July 6)
GM 5: Canada vs. Australia – 11:30 a.m. EST
GM 6: Puerto Rico vs. New Zealand – 2 p.m. EST
GM 7: USA vs. Japan – 5 p.m. EST
GM 8: Winner of GM 5 vs. Winner of GM 6 – 7:30 p.m. EST

 
Finals- Sunday (July 7)
GM 9: Winner of GM 8 vs. Loser of GM 7 – 11 a.m. EST (Bronze Medal Game)
GM 10: Winner of GM 9 vs. Winner of GM 7 – 2 p.m. EST (Gold Medal Game)

 

BOXSCORE
Australia  0 United States  7

                                 YTD                                   YTD
AUS                AB  R  H BI   AVG  USA                AB  R  H BI   AVG
J.Meyer 2B          2  0  0  0  .000  H.McCleney CF       2  1  1  0  .500
M.Mahony RF         2  0  0  0  .000  K.Stewart DP        3  1  1  1  .333
R.Lack 3B           2  0  1  0  .500  E.Crane LF          3  1  2  0  .667
T.Tsitsikronis C    2  0  0  0  .000  M.Sataraka 3B       3  1  2  1  .667
J.Christensen 1B    2  0  0  0  .000  S.Romero SS         3  1  2  1  .667
A.Alvarado DP       2  0  0  0  .000  J.Plaza C           2  1  1  3  .500
A.Casey CF          2  0  0  0  .000  L.Young 1B          2  0  1  0  .500
M.Cameron LF        2  0  1  0  .500  A.Hawkins RF        2  0  0  0  .000
 A.Forte LF,PR      0  0  0  0  .000   S.Lawrence PH      0  1  0  0  .000
A.Prybyszczuk SS    0  0  0  0  .000  D.Mercado 2B        3  0  1  0  .333
                   16  0  2  0                           23  7 11  6

AUS                  0 0 0   0 0 -  0  2  1
USA                  5 0 0   1 1 -  7 11  0
2B--R.Lack (1), M.Sataraka (1). 3B--K.Stewart (1), S.Romero (1).
HR--J.Plaza (1). RBI--K.Stewart (1), M.Sataraka (1), S.Romero (1), J.Plaza
3 (3). HP--A.Prybyszczuk (1). SF--J.Plaza (1). CS--A.Forte (1).
E--A.Prybyszczuk (1).
LOB--AUS 2, USA 9.
                                                                YTD
                                 IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR     ERA
 AUS
A.Cudicio (L,0-1)               0.1   3   4   4   1   0   0   84.08
B.Flint                         3.2   8   3   3   3   2   1    5.73
                                4    11   7   7   4   2   1
 USA
C.Hawkins (W,1-0)               4.1   1   0   0   0   4   0    0.00
P.McDuffee                      0.2   1   0   0   0   0   0    0.00
                                5     2   0   0   0   4   0
HB--C.Hawkins (1). SO--J.Meyer, M.Mahony, A.Alvarado, M.Cameron, K.Stewart,
A.Hawkins. BB--H.McCleney 2, L.Young, S.Lawrence. BF--A.Cudicio 5 (5),
B.Flint 23 (23), C.Hawkins 15 (15), P.McDuffee 2 (2). P-S--A.Cudicio 24-13,
B.Flint 82-48, C.Hawkins 63-42, P.McDuffee 9-5.
T--1:34.  

Weather: Cloudy  with Sunny Breaks
Umpires: Plate Ump - Soenmez, Field Ump #1 - Webster, Field Ump #2 - Jeon, Field Ump #3 - Schroeder

 

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