BRAMPTON, Ont. - Freshman Danica Mercado and the USA Softball Junior National Team celebrated Independence Day in fitting fashion with four- and five-inning wins over Korea and New Zealand Thursday.

In the final day of the ISF Junior World Championships' opening round pool play, Team USA (7-0) opened with a 10-0 victory over Korea (2-4), then topped New Zealand (4-2) by a 7-0 count.

In the finale vs. the Kiwis, Mercado started at second base and hit safely for the fourth straight game with her 1-for-2 effort.

In the second inning, the Temecula, Calif., native hit her first homer of the tournament - a solo shot with one out.

Six other players hit safely during the contest, and extra-base hits went to Lauren Young (homer), Emily Crane (two doubles), Haylie McCleney (double) and Sierra Romero (double).

Pitcher Paige McDuffee (1-0) struck out five, walked none and allowed only one hit in her complete game.

New Zealand's Jasmin Kaiaruna pitched the first two innings (1 SO, 2 BB, 7 H, 5 ER) and Courtney Gettings worked the final 2.1 innings (1 SO, 0 BB, 3 H, 2 ER) before giving up Young's walk-off homer.

Against Korea, three players in the heart of the American lineup banged out multiple hits - Mysha Sataraka (2-for-3, 3 RBI), Romero (3-for-3, 3 RBI) and Erin Shireman (2-for-2, 2 RBI).

Romero and Shireman hit their first and second homers of the tourney, and doubles went to Sataraka (2), Romero, Emily Crane and Ali Aguilar.

Pitcher Erica Nunn (2-0) struck out seven, walked one, gave up two hits in her complete game.

Her Korean counterpart Jinju Lee (0-2) ended with one strikeout, no walks and 12 hits allowed in her three innings.

“The girls are doing a great job of staying in every game and attacking from the first pitch,” Team USA Head Coach Tairia Flowers said. “We’re prepared to start the playoff rounds, but there are still some things we can work on.  Defensively we aren’t getting as many opportunities as we’d like, but the girls are starting to understand and read each other.”

So far for the tourney, Mercado is hitting .500 in her four contests (4-for-8, 2B, 3B, HR, 3 RBI), and freshman Cheridan Hawkins (2-0) leads the team in wins, strikeouts (17), fewest walks (0), fewest hits allowed (1), innings (10) and starts (2).

Looking ahead, playoff action follows on Friday and Saturday, and Sunday's action will feature the bronze medal, consolation final and gold medal games starting at 8:00 a.m.

With Thursday's wins, the U.S. earned the No. 1 seed in Pool A heading into playoffs and will play Friday at 2 p.m. vs. Australia - the No. 2 seed in Pool B.

Along with the U.S., Japan is the only other team left at the JWWC who is undefeated.

 

Remaining Tournament Schedule (* All times Pacific Time)

Playoffs- Friday (July 5)
GM 1: A3 vs. B4 – 8:30 a.m.
GM 2: B3 vs. A4 – 11 a.m.
GM 3: USA vs. Australia – 2 p.m.
GM 4: Japan vs. A2 – 4:30 p.m.

Playoffs- Saturday (July 6)
GM 5: Winner of GM 1 vs. Loser of GM 3 – 8:30 a.m.
GM 6: Winner of GM 2 vs. Loser of GM 4 – 11 a.m.
GM 7: Winner of GM 3 vs. Winner of GM 4 – 2 p.m.
GM 8: Winner of GM 5 vs. Winner of GM 6 – 4:30 p.m.

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

 

BOXSCORES

Korea  0 United States  10

                                 YTD                                   YTD
KOR                AB  R  H BI   AVG  USA                AB  R  H BI   AVG
H.CHOE 3B           2  0  1  0  .182  H.McCleney CF       2  1  1  0  .444
S.KIM 2B            2  0  1  0  .200   L.Spivey DP,PH     1  0  1  0  .750
G.SEOL C            2  0  0  0  .167  A.Aguilar 2B        3  1  1  0  .333
H.JUNG DP           2  0  0  0  .143  E.Crane CF,DP       2  2  1  1  .583
E.LEE CF            1  0  0  0  .143  M.Sataraka 3B       3  2  2  3  .571
 S.JEONG CF,PH      0  0  0  0  .000  S.Romero SS         3  2  3  3  .455
J.JEONG RF          2  0  0  0  .000  E.Shireman C        2  2  2  2 1.000
B.LEE SS            1  0  0  0  .000  S.Lawrence LF       1  0  0  0  .400
H.AN LF             1  0  0  0  .000  L.Young 1B          1  0  0  0  .273
S.CHA 1B            1  0  0  0  .000  A.Hawkins RF        1  0  1  1  .500
                   14  0  2  0                           19 10 12 10

KOR                  0 0 0   0 -  0  2  0
USA                  1 2 5   2 - 10 12  0
2B--A.Aguilar (2), E.Crane (2), M.Sataraka 2 (3), S.Romero (1).
HR--S.Romero (1), E.Shireman (2). RBI--E.Crane (3), M.Sataraka  3 (15),
S.Romero  3 (5), E.Shireman  2 (4), A.Hawkins (2). HP--E.Crane (1),
S.Lawrence (3). SF--A.Hawkins (1). SH--L.Young (0). SB--H.McCleney 2 (4).
LOB--KOR 3, USA 4.
                                                                YTD
                                 IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR     ERA
 KOR
A.LEE (L,0-2)                   3.0  12  10  10   0   1   2   14.00
                                3    12  10  10   0   1   2
 USA
E.Nunn (W,2-0)                  4.0   2   0   0   1   7   0    0.00
                                4     2   0   0   1   7   0
HB--A.LEE 2 (2). SO--S.KIM, G.SEOL, H.JUNG, E.LEE, J.JEONG 2, B.LEE,
S.Lawrence. BB--S.JEONG. BF--A.LEE 23 (35), E.Nunn 15 (24). P-S--A.LEE
68-45, E.Nunn 62-41.  T--1:20.  Weather: Rainy drizzle
Umpires: Plate Ump - Cruz, Field Ump #1 - Soenmez, Field Ump #2 - Fukuda,
Field Ump #3 - Tourangi




New Zealand  0 United States  7

                                 YTD                                   YTD
NZL                AB  R  H BI   AVG  USA                AB  R  H BI   AVG
D.Ferriso 2B        2  0  0  0  .286  H.McCleney CF       3  1  2  1  .500
L.Tapp CF,LF        2  0  1  0  .500  K.Stewart DP        3  1  1  0  .700
E.Cooper RF         2  0  0  0  .267  E.Crane LF          3  2  2  1  .600
K.Ratu-James 3B     2  0  0  0  .333  M.Sataraka 3B       1  0  0  0  .533
T.Houkamau CF       1  0  0  0  .000  S.Romero SS         3  0  2  3  .500
 F.Bullock LF       1  0  0  0  .000  J.Plaza C           3  0  0  0  .000
J.Kaiaruna P        1  0  0  0  .000  L.Young 1B          3  1  1  1  .286
 C.Gettins P        1  0  0  0  .500  A.Hawkins RF        2  1  1  0  .500
K.Simeon C          2  0  0  0  .000  D.Mercado 2B        2  1  1  1  .500
S.Hearne 1B         2  0  0  0  .000       
C.Siataga SS        1  0  0  0  .200       
                   17  0  1  0                           23  7 10  7

NZL                  0 0 0   0 0 -  0  1  0
USA                  2 3 1   0 1 -  7 10  2
2B--H.McCleney (3), E.Crane 2 (4), S.Romero (2). HR--L.Young (2), D.Mercado
(1). RBI--H.McCleney (6), E.Crane (4), S.Romero  3 (8), L.Young (5),
D.Mercado (3). SB--L.Tapp (1), E.Crane (1). E--S.Romero (1), P.McDuffee
(1).  LOB--NZL 2, USA 5.
                                                                YTD
                                 IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR     ERA
 NZL
J.Kaiaruna (L,0-1)              2.0   7   5   5   2   1   1   17.50
C.Gettins                       2.1   3   2   2   0   1   1    9.00
                              4.1    10   7   7   2   2   2
 USA
P.McDuffee (W,1-0)              5.0   1   0   0   0   5   0    0.00
                                5     1   0   0   0   5   0
WP--J.Kaiaruna 2 (2). SO--D.Ferriso, L.Tapp, J.Kaiaruna, K.Simeon,
C.Siataga, K.Stewart, J.Plaza. BB--M.Sataraka 2. BF--J.Kaiaruna 15 (15),
C.Gettins 10 (27), P.McDuffee 17 (21). P-S--J.Kaiaruna 55-33, C.Gettins
30-21, P.McDuffee 76-54. T--1:17.  Umpires: Plate Ump - Zhang,
Field Ump #1 - Houison, Field Ump #2 - Hamamoto, Field Ump #3 - Fukuda

 

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