OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. --- USA Softball returned to its winning ways on Friday evening with a 3-1 win over Australia on day two of 2005 World Cup. After Canada ended its 85-game winning streak just 24 hours earlier, the U.S. placed Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas) in the circle to shutdown the Aussie hitters and get it back on track.
“It’s great to be back in Oklahoma City because of all the great fans. I have played here so many times,” Osterman said. “It kind of feels like home actually. To be honest I never thought I would say Oklahoma felt like home.”
Taking advantage of four walks and two wild pitches, the USA scored all of its runs in the bottom of the first inning without recording a hit. Kellie Wilkerson (Jacksonville, Fla.) walked with the bases loaded to score Caitlin Lowe (Tustin, Calif.) who reached on a fielder’s choice.
With the bases still loaded, Australia starter Catherine Bishop (Adelaide, South Australia) uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.) to score. After a walk to Tairia Flowers (Tucson, Ariz.) loaded the bases once again, Bishop launched her second wild pitch of the inning to allow Jenny Topping (Whittier, Calif.) to score for a 3-0 lead.
Australia’s lone run came in the fourth inning when Kylie Cronk (Toowoomba, Queensland) reached on an error, was sacrificed to second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored while Leah Quackenbush (Bull Creek, West Australia) was involved in a run down attempting to steal second.
Osterman completely dominated the Aussie line-up allowing an unearned run, an infield hit and three walks. Her 14 strikeouts mark the 37th time this year she has recorded double digit strikeouts in a game including her 35 at the University of Texas.
“I thought I pitched well tonight,” Osterman said. “I felt good early on and towards the middle of the game I think I psyched myself out mentally and walked too many people.”
The World Cup moves into day three tomorrow as the USA faces China at 11 a.m. CT and Canada faces Australia at 1 p.m. CT. In the evening session, China plays Australia at 6 p.m. CT and the USA meets Japan at 8 p.m. CT.