November 29, 2014

Doug Gillis Named New Mizzou Softball Assistant Coach

Click to view original press release at Mizzou Tigers

Click to view original press release at Mizzou Tigers

New Tiger assistant coach played fast-pitch softball internationally over four decades

From the Mizzou Tigers website:

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Mizzou Softball will welcome the addition of Doug Gillis to the program’s coaching staff in the role of assistant coach, head coach Ehren Earleywine announced Thursday. A former Team USA pitcher and International Softball Congress All-World selection, Gillis has been one of the premier fast-pitch pitching instructors around the country for more than 20 years.

A six-time member of Team USA, Gillis was the only American selected to the ISC’s All-World team in 2010. He pitched the U.S. to a gold medal at the 2002 Pan-Am Games and followed that up with a silver medal in 2003. While playing internationally over four decades, Gillis participated in four Olympic Festivals and was also a member of two ISF World Championships squads for the United States (1996, 2004).

Click here to read the complete story and to view photo.

Another article here at The Missourian.

USA Softball Women’s National Team takes silver in ISF Women’s World Championship

Holland-ISF-2014From Steve Embree, USA Softball

Haarlem, Netherlands – The USA Softball Women’s National Team defeated Australia 8-1 (six innings) to advance to play Japan in the Gold Medal game of the International Softball Federation (ISF) Women’s World Championship on Sunday the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of American/USA Softball announced today. In the finals, the defending World Champions scored three opening-inning runs and Team USA never could recover as Japan went on to win the Gold by a final of 4-1.

USA 8, Australia 1 (Six Innings)
Click here for the Box Score

With a spot in the World Championship Gold Medal game on the line, Team USA wasted little time building a lead on Australia in its first game of the day. Jaclyn Traina (Naples, Fla.) earned the start and helped the USA win the first inning by retiring the first three batters in the Aussie lineup. In the bottom half of the innings, Raven Chavanne (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) led off with a single but Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) took her place when she grounded into a fielders’ choice in the next at-bat. With Stewart at first, Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) grounded to second and a fielding error resulted in both base runners advancing safely. In the next at-bat, Samantha Fischer (Simi Valley, Calif.) singled to left field plating both Stewart and Moultrie and giving Team USA a 2-0 lead after one.

The lead lasted through the second as Traina walked the first batter but Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) threw the base runner out as she attempted to steal second. Two Traina strikeouts kept the Aussies scoreless through two.

In the bottom of the third, with the USA still leading 2-0, back-to-back singles to left field from Chavanne and Stewart gave Team USA runners and Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) took advantage. The first baseman lined her opening pitch to left field scoring two and adding to the USA lead. After three innings the score was USA 4, Australia 0.

The score held through the fourth inning but Australia tripled to start the fifth, resulting in a pitching change as Jolene Henderson (Elk Grove, Calif.) entered the circle. The runner eventually scored but Henderson held the visiting team to one and a 5-1 USA lead carried into the bottom of the fifth.

Stewart and Moultrie again teamed up in the fifth to add to the USA lead. With a 2-1 count, Stewart found a pitch she liked and sent it to deep right field as she came around for a standup triple. In the next at-bat, Moultrie put the ball in the play and Stewart came home from third to make it USA 5, Australia 1 after five innings.

Henderson kept Australia scoreless in the sixth and Team USA needed three runs in the bottom half to secure a run-rule victory. A walk followed by a Hallie Wilson (Santa Ana, Calif.) single gave the USA runners in scoring position and Kellie Fox (San Diego, Calif.) came through with a double to center field that scored Taylor Hoagland (Flower Mound, Texas) from third. In the next at-bat Chavanne delivered the final blow with a single to center field that scored two, ending the game and sending Team USA to the Gold Medal Final.

Japan 4, USA 1
Click here for the Box Score

Three runs in the first inning proved too much for the USA Women’s National Team to come back from in the finals of the ISF World Championship. Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif.) earned the start but gave up three runs early resulting in Sara Nevins (Pinellas Park, Fla.) entering to close out the opening Japan at-bat. When the sides finally changed, Japan had tallied three runs on two hits and three walks.

Offensively, Team USA put the ball in play regularly but couldn’t convert runners to runs. Stewart singled in the bottom of the first and Chidester did the same in the second but both runners were stranded and the 3-0 score held through two innings of play.

Nevins pitched well through the third but finally surrendered a run in the top of the fourth. With two down, three straight singles resulted in the fourth run of the game and Japan took a 4-0 lead into the fifth.

Team USA started the fifth inning with their second pitching change of the contest when Traina entered the circle. Two ground outs and a fly out preserved the 4-0 score as Team USA came to bat in the bottom of the fifth.

After drawing a walk to open the USA at-bat, Stewart advanced to second on a Moultrie single to short stop. Two batters later, Lauren Gibson (Pasadena, Md.) hit into a fielders’ choice that score Stewart as Team USA cut into the Japan lead.

In the sixth, Moore re-entered to pitch after a five-inning break and despite giving up back-to-back singles, managed to keep Japan scoreless in the inning.

A three up, three down inning for the USA batters in the bottom of the sixth left one more opportunity for the Americans to get back into the game. In the top of the seventh Moore walked the opening batter but retired the next three in order. Down to their last at-bat, Chavanne singled to start the bottom of the seventh but a fly out and two strike outs drew the game to a close and secured Japan’s third ISF World Championship Gold.

The conclusion of the World Championship also means the conclusion of the 2014 USA Softball Women’s National Team season. The senior squad finished the year with a 28-6 record in international tournament play. Chavanne led the way offensively on the year with a .464 batting average and Nevins notched the best ERA at a .869 clip. Following a four month break, Team USA will regroup in January with a selection camp to choose the roster that will compete in the 2015 Pan-American Games among other events. Follow all USA National Team news year round at www.USASoftball.com.

USA Women split games on day one of playoffs at ISF World Championship

Holland-ISF-2014From Steve Embree, USA Softball

Haarlem, Netherlands – Following a near 30-hour delay due to rain, the USA Softball Women’s National Team began the playoff portion of the International Softball Federation (ISF) World Championship on Saturday. Team USA, playing as the top seed from Pool B, defeated Canada 6-1 in their first game to earn a matchup later in the day with the only other undefeated team in the tournament, Japan. With a spot in Sunday’s Gold medal game on the line, Japan jumped out early on the USA and never let up as they went on to win 6-1.

USA 6, Canada 1
Click here for Box Score

Despite being held scoreless for the first three innings versus Canada on Saturday, Team USA posted six runs in the final four frames to take a 6-1 win and advance to the next round in the winners bracket at the ISF World Championship. Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Lauren Gibson (Pasadena, Md.) each homered resulting in five of USA’s six runs. Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif.) started the game in the circle and lasted 3.1 innings before Sara Nevins (Pinellas Park, Fla.) entered in relief to earn the win.

“I loved the little things that we did to get the win over Canada,” said USA Head Coach Ken Eriksen. “Sacrifice bunts, aggressive base running, those are things that don’t look all that impressive on a score sheet but they add up to wins.”

Samantha Fischer (Simi Valley, Calif.) lead off the top off the fourth with a ground ball single to short stop and advanced to second via a Moultie sacrifice bunt in the next at-bat. A walk and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases for Team USA with Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) up next. The outfielder singled to left field scoring the first USA run of the game.

The lead didn’t last long as Canada started the bottom off the fourth with a single and followed it with a shot to center field that barely snuck past McCleney’s glove. The first runner scored but Moultrie gunned down the second runner at third to preserve the tie through four.

Gibson walked to start the fifth inning and a Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) sacrifice bunt advanced her to second. Two batters later, Moultrie put Team USA ahead for good when she sent the first pitch she saw sailing over the center field wall.

Nevins retired the side in the bottom off the fifth and Team USA added insurance runs in the sixth. With two outs, Raven Chavanne (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) singled to third base and Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) followed her up with a single to left field. With the runners on base, Gibson sent an 0-2 pitch over the center field wall for a three-run homer to give Team USA their 6-1 lead.

With the favorable lead, Nevins kept the Canadian batters in check through the sixth and most of the seventh innings. In the bottom of the seventh, the lefty gave up her first hit of the game, a two-out single to Joey Lye. In the next at-bat, with an 0-2 count, Jaclyn Traina (Naples, Fla.) entered the circle to pitch. Needing just one strike to end it, Traina followed a foul ball with a swinging strikeout and Team USA secured the win.

Japan 6, USA 1
Click here for the Box Score

Japan jumped out to an early lead on Team USA in their game late Saturday evening at the ISF World Championship. Facing Jolene Henderson (Elk Grove, Calif.) Japan scored one run in the first and added three in the second to put the Americans in a four-run hole early in the game. Offensively Team USA couldn’t get much going early facing Japanese veteran Yukiko Ueno.

“We put the ball in play and put runners on base,” said Eriksen. “We did some nice things, just had a few small errors and when you’re playing Japan they will take advantage of those errors. The great thing is, we still have tomorrow. We just have to play great softball for one day and then we can call ourselves World Champions.”

A Japan two-out single in the top of the first was followed by an Eri Yamada double scored the first run of the game as Japan went up 1-0. Gibson walked and Arioto singled in the bottom half of the inning but Ueno left them stranded, getting a strikeout to end the inning.

Japan added three more runs in the second off of two singles and a walk before Traina entered to pitch for Team USA. With two outs, Traina pitched a fly ball to end the Japan rally.

Both teams remained scoreless through the third inning. In the top of the fourth, Japan added a fifth run, this time off of Traina. Nagayoski singled to start the inning and was later brought around to score on a Kawano single to short stop.

Team USA gave up the sixth and final run to Japan in the top of the fifth. Mine doubled to right field to start the at-bat and after Sakamoto laid down a sac-bunt to advance her to second, a Sato single to short stop scored the runner from second putting Japan up 6-0.

The Americans finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth when Hoagland drew a walk and later came around to score on a Kellie Fox (San Diego, Calif.) single to right field. Nevins retired the side in the top of the seventh but the USA bats couldn’t muster a comeback as Japan secured the 6-1 win.

Sunday morning at 12:00 p.m. (5 a.m. eastern) the USA will now play the winner of Australia, Canada who was playing at the time of this release. The winner advances to place Japan in the Gold medal game at 3:00 p.m. (7 a.m. eastern). Live streaming and live stats are available via www.USASoftball.com throughout the ISF World Championship. Log on and follow Team USA as they seek a tenth World Championship Gold.

ESPNw: Japanese Pitcher Yukiko Ueno Perfect Storm Of Power And Precision

Click logo to read story and see photo at ESPN.

Click logo to read story and see photo at ESPN.

Cap tip Bob Henning
From ESPNw.com
By Graham Hays

Think of Yukiko Ueno as one part David and one part Paul Bunyan. She is both the upstart whose arm felled a giant in a sport’s most famous moment and a figure whose ability to throw a softball harder than almost anyone else lends itself to a larger-than-life mythology. In her hands, a ball can be both the stone in a slingshot and a big blue ox.

Karen Johns came up with a more meteorological analogy when she first saw Ueno pitch in 2005, three years before the right-hander led Japan to a win against the favored United States in the gold-medal game of the 2008 Olympics. Johns, who would serve as an assistant coach with Team USA for that game in Beijing, went home after her initial encounter with the ace and told her husband she had seen the perfect storm. Click to continue reading at ESPNw.com

USA Women secures a top playoff seed with 10-0 win over Dominican Republic in ISF Worlds

Click here for official website of USA Softball

Click here for official website of USA Softball

From Steve Embree, USA Softball

Haarlem, Netherlands – The USA Softball Women’s National Team moved to 6-0 and locked up a first-place seed in the playoffs of the International Softball Federation (ISF) Women’s World Championship by defeating Dominican Republic 10-0 (four innings) on Wednesday. Playing on her 21st birthday, Hallie Wilson (Santa Ana, Calif.) stood out going 2-3 with a two-run single in the third and a three-run home run in the fourth inning. Jolene Henderson (Elk Grove, Calif.) picked up her second win of the World Championship throwing the complete four innings and allowing just two hits while striking out seven.

Click here to view the Box Score

Dominican Republic held the USA scoreless in the first but the runs came in the second. Two walks and an error loaded the bases to start the inning and a third walk scored Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) from third. With the bases still juiced, Destinee Martinez (Corona, Calif.) flied out to left field and Taylor Hoagland (Flower Mound, Texas) tagged at third and easily crossed home. In the next at-bat Raven Chavanne (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) singled to load the bases back up and a walk scored Wilson from third. When the dust settled on the top of the second, Team USA held a 3-0 lead.

Henderson needed just eight pitches in the bottom of the second and 10 in the third to retire the side as she struck out five-of-six batters in the two frames.

In the top of the third, the USA Women continued their scoring run as Arioto and Hoagland each walked to start the at-bat and Wilson’s single to left field brought them each around to score. Later in the at-bat, Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) singled to center field scoring a sixth USA run and after having reached on an error, Martinez crossed home on a wild to make it USA 7, Dominican Republic 0.

Wilson’s three-run homer in the fourth plated both Hoagland and Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) and provided the Americans with the 10 runs they needed to meet run-rule requirements after four innings of play. Henderson returned to the circle in the bottom half of the inning needing three outs to end the game. The California native allowed just one hit in the frame while striking out one and getting two others to ground out to second base.

The 10-0 victory was the sixth for the Americans in the World Championship and their fourth by run rule. USA will face Italy at 2 p.m. (7 a.m. CDT) on Thursday in the final pool-play game before the playoff portion of the tournament starts on Friday. Live streaming and live stats are available via www.USASoftball.com throughout the ISF World Championship. Log on and follow Team USA as they seek a tenth World Championship Gold.

USA Softball Women’s National Team arrives in Europe for Italian Softball Week and ISF XIV World Championship

Click here for official USA Softball website.

Click here for official USA Softball website.

Editor’s note: From our friend Steve Embree, at USA Softball. Life is tough, but somebody’s got to make these trips !

Azzano Decimo, Italy – The USA Softball Women’s National Team arrived in Italy on Wednesday to compete in one last international tournament in preparation for the 2014 International Softball Federation (ISF) XIV Women’s World Championship which kicks off August 15 in Haarlem, Netherlands. Beginning today, Team USA will join Australia and Italy in the Italian Softball Week event in Azzano Decimo, Italy. Following the four-day tournament, the USA Women’s National Team will travel to Haarlem to begin their quest for a tenth ISF Women’s World Championship Gold.

Italian Softball Week, August 7-10

Italian Softball Week begins with round-robin play at 10 a.m. CDT (5 p.m. local) on August 7 when Team USA takes the field with Australia. The opening contest will be immediately followed by USA versus Italy at 1:30 p.m. CDT (8:30 local). Play continues August 8-9 with the three teams playing each other twice. On August 10, the teams with the second a third best records will play in a semifinal contest at 11 a.m. CDT (6 p.m. local) with the winner advancing to play the team with the best pool-play record in the finals at 2:00 p.m. CDT (9 p.m. local).

Click here for coverage throughout the Italian Softball Week event

Holland-ISF-2014ISF XIV World Championship, August 15-24

The USA Women will travel to Haarlem, Netherlands on August 11 for the ISF Women’s World Championship. They’ll kick off the event by playing the host country, the Netherlands on August 15 at 1 p.m. CDT (8 p.m. local time). Following their opening game with Netherlands, the USA is scheduled to play six other pool-play games: Botswana on August 16, Chinese Taipei on August 17, Great Britain on August 18, Australia on August 19, Dominican Republic on August 20 and Italy on August 21. The playoffs are scheduled to begin on August 22 with the finals on August 24.

In the most previous ISF Women’s World Championship in 2012, the USA fell to Japan 2-1 (ten innings) in the championship game to claim the silver medal. It was just the fourth time in the history of the event that Team USA came away with anything other than Gold. This season, the USA Women are coming off of a first-place finish in the General Tire World Cup of Softball and a second-place finish at the Canadian Open.

The ISF plans to stream the World Championship tournament online. The link for the streaming as well as live stats will be available via www.usasoftball.com throughout the tournament.

Click here for coverage throughout the ISF XIV World Championship

Athletes competing for USA Softball in Italy and the Netherlands: Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif./California 2012); Raven Chavanne (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Tennessee 2013); Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Michigan 2012); Samantha Fischer (Simi Valley, Calif./Loyola Marymount 2012); Kellie Fox (San Diego, Calif./Arizona Senior); Lauren Gibson (Pasadena, Md./Tennessee 2013); Jolene Henderson (Elk Grove, Calif./California 2013); Taylor Hoagland (Flower Mound, Texas/Texas 2013); Destinee Martinez (Corona, Calif./Oklahoma 2014); Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala./Alabama Junior); Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif./Oregon 2013) Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla./Florida 2012); Sara Nevins (Pinellas Park, Fla./South Florida 2014); Jessica Plaza (Huntington Beach, Calif./Stanford Junior); Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan./Florida Junior); Jackie Traina (Naples, Fla./Alabama 2014); Hallie Wilson (Santa Ana, Calif./Arizona Senior).

Ken Eriksen (Tampa, Fla./ Head Coach of Univ. of South Florida) leads the way in his fourth year as the head coach and is joined by assistant coaches Laura Berg (Corvallis, Ore../Head Coach at Oregon State), Howard Dobson (Orange, Texas/Assistant Coach at LSU) and Lisa Dodd (San Diego, Calif./Head Coach at the UNLV).

Schedule

August 15
8:00 PM
(1 PM CDT) USA vs Netherlands

August 16
12:30 PM
(5:30 AM CDT)
USA vs Botswana

August 17
4:30 PM
(9:30 AM CDT)
USA vs Chinese Taipei

August 18
3:00 PM
(8 AM CDT)
USA vs Great Britain

August 19
5:30 PM
(10:30 AM CDT)
USA vs Australia

August 20
5:30 PM
(10:30 AM CDT)
USA vs Dominican Rep.

August 21
2:00 PM
(7 AM CDT)
USA vs Italy

August 22-24 TBD Playoffs

2014 USA Softball Women’s National Team World Championship roster announced

Click for official USA Softball website

Click for official USA Softball website

2014 USA Softball Women’s National Team World Championship roster announced

OKLAHOMA CITY – Following a selection camp and series of exhibition games the roster for the 2014 USA Softball Women’s National Team that will compete in a number of events this summer highlighted by the International Softball Federation (ISF) Women’s World Championship is now set as announced today by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball. The 17-person roster will regroup next month for an exhibition game in Morgantown, W. Va. before traveling to Irvine, Calif. for the General Tire World Cup of Softball July 7-13.

“This group of 24 athletes that tried out is one of the rarest groups I’ve been around in a long time,” said USA Softball Head Coach Ken Eriksen. “Their college coaches, parents and teammates need to understand the greatness that is within each and every one of them. As always, it’s a very tough decision to narrow the group to 17 but I’m very excited about the potential this team has.”

Click here for the complete 2014 USA Softball Women’s National Team roster

In preparation for the ISF Women’s World Championships, August 15-24, 2014 in Haarlem, Netherlands, the 2014 Women’s National Team will compete in exhibition games as well as three tournaments that include the General Tire World Cup of Softball IX in Irvine, Calif July 7-13, the Canadian Open Fast Pitch International in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada July 15-21 and Italian Softball Week in Azzano, Italy August 6-10. Their complete schedule, including exhibition game dates and locations can be found here.

Click here for more information on the General Tire World Cup of Softball

Ken Eriksen (Tampa, Fla./Head Coach at USF) will lead the National Team and will be assisted by three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Laura Berg (Corvalis, Ore./head coach Oregon State) as well as Howard Dobson (Orange, Texas/assistant coach at LSU) and Lisa Dodd (San Diego, Calif./head coach at UNLV) throughout the summer events.

Visit www.usasoftball.com all summer for the most up to date coverage of all USA Softball National Teams.

USA Women earn two shutout wins in Findlay OH behind flawless performances from the circle

Info courtesy of Codi Warren, USA Softball

Click for official USA Softball website

Click for official USA Softball website

Findlay, Ohio – The U.S. pitching staff was lights out in Findlay, Ohio as the 2014 USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) Selection Camp continued its exhibition tour the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball announced today. In the first game of the evening, Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) went 3-for-3 at the plate to help lead USA to a 3-0 win, while Destinee Martinez (Corona, Calif.) was 3-for-2 with two RBI to launch the U.S. to a 5-0 victory in game two.

“We were ready and excited to get back out on the field together tonight,” said Lauren Gibson. “We had a few hiccups defensively, but we were able to come back together as a team.”

Click here to see stats from the exhibition games.


Game One

Behind the strong bat of Kelsey Stewart, Team USA produced a 3-0 shutout win in their first game of the doubleheader. Stewart ended the game going 3-for-3 at the plate, including a double and one RBI.

USA was held scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning as Sam Fischer (Simi Valley, Calif.) led off the side with a single to left field. A misstep by the shortstop put an additional runner on base for the U.S., bringing Stewart to the plate who would single to plate Fischer. Rhea Taylor (Atlanta, Ga.) then collected an RBI after grounding out to the shortstop to plate Nicole Hudson (Webb City, Mo.).

Aimee Creger (Yukon, Okla.) was lights out in her appearance in the circle, pitching the first four innings of the game. Creger held the Ohio All-Stars hitless over her four innings of work while striking out three.

The U.S. would add their final run of the game in the bottom of the sixth after Stewart came around to score after punching her second single of the game. Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) connected for the RBI single to centerfield, giving the U.S. a 3-0 lead.

Cheridan Hawkins (Anderson, Calif.) closed out the game for USA, pitching the final three frames in relief. Hawkins allowed just two hits while walking one and striking out eight.

Game Two

The U.S. pitching staff continued to dominate in the second game of the evening as Jaclyn Traina (Naples, Fla.) and Jolene Henderson (Elk Grove, Calif.) combined for a 5-0 shutout win.

Team USA got on the board in the bottom of the third inning after five-consecutive walks were issued to the U.S. lineup to plate Lauren Gibson (Pasadena, Md.) for the first run of the game. The next run came via a Martinez groundout to shortstop before McCleney hit a two-run single to centerfield to clear the bases.

The U.S. held a 4-0 lead until the bottom of the fifth when Jessica Plaza (Huntington Beach, Calif.) doubled to left field with two outs. Kellie Fox (San Diego, Calif.), who entered to pinch run for Plaza, then scored on a single by Martinez.

The Ohio All-Stars lineup had no answer for the U.S. pitching staff as they managed just one hit off Traina, who struck out five during her four innings of work. Henderson threw the final two innings of the game, giving up just two hits while striking out two.

Up next for the Red, White and Blue is their final doubleheader exhibition game of the Selection Camp against the Virginia All-Stars on Thursday, June 19 in Purcellville, Va. The first game of the doubleheader begins at 6:30 p.m. ET and live stats can be found at USASoftball.com.

Michael White’s Oregon Duck women eliminated at WCWS

oregonHead coach Michael White’s Oregon Duck women’s softball team has plenty to be proud of for the 2014, after elimination at the Women’s College World Series, including a record 56 wins. They finished the World Series with a 2-2 record, with wins over Florida State and defending champion Oklahoma, losing only to the two eventual finalists, Florida and Alabama.

More here.

Kiwi coach succeeding in US

oregonFrom Stuff.co.nz

Black Sox pitching great Mike White has coached his Oregon University women’s softball team to an opening round win at the United States College World Series in Oklahoma City today. Click here to read the rest of the story at Stuff.co.nz.

Can’t help thinking of one of the Oregon Duck fans. (Michael and team were kind enough to send him the jacket while he was hospitalized.)