She's Ready to Play Baseball:

a blog of women's baseball. Yes, baseball.

Lairderg

Lairderg
Location
Turnersville, New Jersey, United States
Birthday
June 26
Bio
Yes, that's me, ringing up a little mojo for my Fightin' Phils during the 2008 World Series. I grew up, in 1950s and 60s suburbia, with the heart of a frontierswoman. I grew up a Catholic with the heart of a seeker of the Divine Feminine. I grew up a girl and a woman, when being either "just wasn't good enough," with the heart of a warrior priestess of a warrior goddess. My favorite television shows are (from the mid 90s) Profiler, (from the early 21st Century) Witchblade, and (now) Saving Grace, so you know where my mind still is. I was a journalist before big advertising bullies started owning the media and quit (after a long, loud battle) when I saw what they were doing. I was the oldest, and the most eccentric, of seven children in an Irish American family. I married, divorced, and now have a significant other. I am a "budding" herbalist, a mother of four avians (My poor Keenan died recently.), a guerilla gardener, an adjunct professor of pre-composition college writing, a poet, a fiction writer, a creative non-fiction writer, a feature writer, and now a player and a blogger of women's baseball.

AUGUST 29, 2008 9:38AM

Team USA earns Bronze Medal in complete game by Sementelli

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MATSUYAMA, Japan—Marti Sementelli pitched six shutout innings and struck out four to lead Team USA to its third medal in as many World Cups. The US women defeated Australia, 2-1, for the Bronze Medal.

After giving up a single to Australia’s shortstop Shae Lillywhite in the first inning, Sementelli, a 15-year-old Burbank, California, resident, did not allow other hits until the fourth, when first base player Katie Gaynor and left fielder Samantha Hamilton hit singles, and the seventh, when a single by pinch hitter Laura Neads drove in Australia’s only run. Sementelli improved to 2-0 in tournament play, both victories against the Australian team.

Shortstop Sarah Gascon of Los Angeles, Calif., led Team USA’s offense, going 3 for 3. Tournament RBI leader and second base player Malaika Underwood of Atlanta, Ga., drove in her twelfth run in the fifth inning, plating Tara Harbert of Longmont, Colo., on a fielder’s choice. Harbert scored both Team USA runs, hit 1 for 4, and stole her third base in tournament play.

“I was proud of the way our players finished the tournament today,” Manager Brian Bright told USABaseball.com. “The loss last night [against Japan] was extremely hard on everyone, but today we regrouped and finished strong. We found our focus today and played an excellent all-round game.”

Australia threatened in the fifth inning when centerfielder Amy McCann reached second on a two-base throwing error by third base player Donna Mills (Lynn, Mass.).  Australian second base player Loren Vella reached on a bunt and an error, then ran to second while McCann attempted a suicide squeeze. USA catcher Veronica Alvarez of Miami, Florida, after receiving a high throw from Sementelli, ran McCann down in the basepath and tagged her for the first out. Australian catcher Kelly Manzie and Lillywhite grounded out to end the frame.

Still, the Australia women did not give up and tried again in the bottom of the seventh. The first two batters, Hamiton (who was replaced by pinch runner Julia Fellows) and designated hitter Renee Straumietis, were hit by pitches. McCann executed a sacrifice bunt to put the runners on second and third, and Neads singled to plate Fellows. Then, pinch hitter Kim McMillan popped to Alvarez, who saw another attempt at a squeeze play, gunned the ball to Mills at third to double off Straumietis, and ended the game.

Team USA’s Tournament Leaders

Alvarez’s batting average, .750 (9 for 12), place her first on the team and among the tournament leaders. After being retired in her first at-bat against Chinese Taipei, Alvarez reached safely in 12 straight plate appearances and drove in four runs. Underwood led the team and tournament with 12 RBI and the team with 10 hits, batting .417 in six games with a double, two triples, and a homerun. Keri Lemasters of Beverly, Mass., and Bridget Veenema of Deerfield, Ill., tied for first among tournament leaders with four doubles apiece and hitting .429 and .385 respectively. Team USA posted a .426 batting average in this tournament, while holding their opponents to .270 overall.

Sementelli topped the team in pitching with two wins, striking out five in 12 innings and allowing two runs on eight hits for a 1.50 ERA. Kristin Mills Caldwell of Bear, Del., was second with 10.2 innings pitched, yielding six earned runs on 19 hits while striking out four. Anna Kimbrell of Fort Mill, S.C., registered the team’s lone save and held a 2.84 ERA.

***

I will put together a story on a new blog about the Gold Medal Game between Japan and Canada as soon as I can get the accumulated statistics.

***

OTHER NON-MEDAL ACTION:  Chinese Taipei climbed all over Team Korea, 16-1, scoring seven runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to stop the game. The win gives Chinese Taipei fifth place in the tournament standings. Team India earned its first win, and seventh place, in a tight battle with Hong Kong. The final score was 8-6.

***

Here are some comments from Team USA players after the first game against Australia, which, I think, still would apply to today's game.

Pitcher Marti Sementelli:  "I am very happy with the outcome of my pitching performance. I kept them off balance by mixing in my slider, changeup, and fast ball."

Tournament RBI leader Malaika Underwood: "It always feels good to get a hit (a single, a double, a triple, or a homerun), especially in a clutch situation. It's a team game and we all depend on each other. I'm glad I had the opportunity to contribute during a great team win."


 

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