Team USA Completes Pan Ams Prep, Wins Series Over Scrap Yard
Much like last week's series between USA Softball and Scrap Yard Fastpitch, the three games that took place this week between the two squads were nothing short of entertaining. As part of Team USA's final preparations for the 2019 Pan American Games—which will take place in Lima, Peru from August 4 to 11—the Americans wrapped up exhibition play for the summer this week in the Houston-metro area.
Game 1 of the three that occurred between Team USA and Scrap Yard this week took place on Sunday and saw the Americans record a 7–2 victory. Behind two, three-run home runs off the bat of Sahvanna Jaquish and strong pitching outings from Cat Osterman and Monica Abbott, USA Softball recorded the convincing win. Jaquish finished 2-for-3 with six RBIs on Sunday, while Osterman earned the win in the circle after collecting five strikeouts and allowing just one run on three hits.
The second game in the Houston-metro area between the two teams occurred on Monday and, similar to last week's outcome in Game 2 of the series the teams played in Louisiana, saw Scrap Yard upset the U.S. women's national team. The back-and-forth game was finally decided by a score of 4–2 after Scrap Yard took a lead in the sixth inning that it would not relinquish. Scrap Yard was led at the plate by Aubrey Leach, who finished the game 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
The Scrap Yard pitching staff limited the Americans to just three hits on Monday, while recording 13 strikeouts against Team USA. Dallas Escobedo earned the win for Scrap Yard with a stellar outing in the circle that lasted 6.2 innings, while Rachel Garcia took the loss for USA Softball.
Team USA was able to salvage the series on Tuesday in Game 3 of the Houston-metro area set, as the American offense returned to life and collected 10 hits in a shutout, 6–0 victory over Scrap Yard. Five different USA Softball players recorded RBIs in the contest, while Abbott, Osterman and Ally Carda combined for 17 strikeouts on the night. USA Softball outfielders Haylie McCleney and Michelle Moultrie posted solid performances at the plate, going 2-for-4 and 2-for-3, respectively, while Abbott earned the win in the circle.
Now en route to Peru for Pan Ams, the Americans will look to win their ninth gold medal in 11 appearances at the international tournament. In the squad's last showing at Pan Ams in 2015, Team USA lost the gold medal to host country Canada. The U.S. women's national team has an all-time record of 93–4 at Pan Ams.