OKLAHOMA CITY — On a hot and humid night, with American bats taking the night off, Team USA turned to Jessica Moore. Even though most of the talk surrounding the team had been about which pitcher wasn’t there, Moore proved that the Americans are still in good hands.
The Sutter, Calif. native shut down Australia to lead Team USA to a 4-0 victory Friday at Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City. The win, her first of the tournament, gave USA a 2-0 record at the World Cup of Softball.
“I was mixing speeds pretty well,” Moore said. “I threw some pretty good change-ups. They kind of had that in the back of their minds, I think. I did an OK job of hitting my spots. So I was able to get them out and kept them guessing on which side of the plate I was going to throw to. It worked out in my favor tonight. I felt like I had a pretty good outing for my first win.”
Moore pitched seven strong innings, allowing only one hit in the shutout. The Aussies had no answer for what she was doing on the mound.
However, Moore was aided by a disciplined defense in the infield that scooped up everything that came into its area.
“I think our defense did a fantastic job as well,” Lauren Gibson said. “Jessica really made it easy for us. Just being able to get ground balls and help us get outs. That’s what helped a lot.”
Team USA bats got going in the bottom of the second when Amanda Chidester led off the inning with a double. Valerie Arioto was walked, which put two runners on base and no outs. Australia’s Vanessa Stokes pitched her way out of the jam by getting three straight groundouts to end the threat.