Chelsea Thomas struck out four of the six batters she faced
July 22, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The USA Women’s National Softball Team opened up the World Cup of Softball VI with a 7-2 win over the Czech Republic on Thursday evening. The United States scored their seven runs on 11 hits while also taking advantage of four errors.
Missouri’s Rhea Taylor and Chelsea Thomas enjoyed impressive evenings for the United States, as both played big factors in the team’s victory. Taylor finished the game by going 1-for-3 at the plate with a triple, two runs scored and two runs driven in, while Thomas picked up the save in two innings out of the bullpen.
With two outs and two runners in the second, Taylor connected on the first pitch she saw, sending a deep fly ball to the wall in right to score Megan Langenfeld and Taylor Hoagland. Taylor would touch home on an infield single on the following play.
In the sixth, Taylor reached on a fielder’s choice and moved to second on a throwing error on the play. She would score easily from second on another infield hit to the shortstop. Taylor led off the game with a walk on five pitches, but was doubled off on a sharp liner to third.
Thomas was brought in out of the bullpen in the bottom of the sixth inning after the Czech Republic had put the tying run on deck after their first two batters reached safely. The Tiger ace worked out of the jam by getting a 5-6-3 double play and then a strikeout to end the threat, keeping the score at 6-2.
After an error gave the Czechs a leadoff base runner in the seventh, Thomas buckled down and struck out the next three batters on three pitches each to earn the save. She finished the game with four strikeouts and no walks in two innings of work.
Team USA is back in action tomorrow at 7 p.m. CT against Australia. The game will air live on ESPN and at ESPN3.com.
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