Team USA opens Mayor’s Cup with two wins
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Texas Ex Taylor Hoagland and rising senior shortstop Taylor Thom began their final week with the USA Softball Women’s National Softball Team for this summer and helped lead the American squad to a pair of victories at the Copa Francisco Reyes Cup (Mayor's Cup) on Tuesday night.
In preparation for the Pan American Games/World Championship Qualifier, scheduled for August 10-18, Team USA came away with an 11-5 win over Canada and followed up with a 5-1 win over Argentina.
Hoagland went one-for-one with two runs batted in versus Canada while Thom did not play in that contest. Against Argentina in the nightcap, Thom started at shortstop and drove in a run while picking up a single. Hoagland also finished with one RBI.
USA 11, Canada 5
Canada took a 2-0 in the bottom of the first after a hit-by-pitch and a single put two runners on base. Erika Polidori delivered a two-run double for the early advantage.
The U.S. erupted for six runs in the top of the third for a 6-2 lead. After a walk, error and free pass loaded the bases for Lauren Gibson, another walk forced in Destinee Martinez to make it a 2-1 deficit. Amanda Chidester kept the American rally going with an RBI single to bring Rhea Taylor home and tie the game at 2-2. Consecutive walks to Valerie Arioto and Lauren Chamberlain brought in two more runs for Team USA to take a 4-2 edge. Sacrifice hits from Nicole Hudson and Kourtney Salvarola drove in two more runs for the U.S. to move its lead to 6-2.
Canada responded with a run in the bottom of the third on a Jennifer Yee sacrifice fly that plated Caitlin Lever to make it 6-3.
The Canadians struck again in the bottom of the fourth to narrow the deficit to 6-4 with a Victoria Hayward RBI double.
Team USA added two more runs in the sixth inning to go ahead 8-4. With one out and Taylor on base after a fielder’s choice, Raven Chavanne hit an RBI single to score Taylor. Gibson delivered her second RBI of the game with a single that plated Chavanne.
Canada responded again in the bottom of the sixth as Lever scored off a Yee single, but Team USA put the game out of reach with three runs in the top of the seventh for the 11-5 final. A Chamberlain RBI single and two-run double from Hoagland provided the runs for the Americans.
USA 5, Argentina 1
Team USA jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Hudson walked, Chidester reached on a fielder’s choice that Hudson was also safe on and Arioto followed with a three-run home run.
Argentina would put a run on the board in the top of the third inning as Aldana Gomez scored on a single by Agustina Godoy to make it a 3-1 American advantage.
Team USA responded in the bottom of the third with another run after Hudson, who walked, scored on a single by Thom for a 4-1 lead.
In the top of the fourth, the Americans scored the final run of the game as Taylor singled, advanced to second on a throwing error, moved to third on a fly out and scored on a Hoagland sacrifice fly.
With the wins, USA moves to 2-0 at the Mayor's Cup. The USA will play Cuba at 4 p.m. CT and Puerto Rico at 6 p.m. CT Wednesday to close out pool play. The playoffs are scheduled to begin on Thursday.
Copa Francisco Reyes Cup (Mayor's Cup)
Tuesday, August 6 USA 11 Canada 5
Tuesday, August 6 USA 5 Argentina 1
Wednesday, August 7 USA vs. Cuba – 4 p.m.
Wednesday, August 7 USA vs. Puerto Rico - 6 p.m.