Team USA strikes early again, rolls to 18-0 victory


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Team USA's Amanda Gianelloni slides in safely at home during Thursday night's 18-0 victory over the Netherlands on the second day of the Women's Baseball World Cup at the USSSA Space Coast Complex.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

Team USA certainly did a lot of things right in Thursday night’s 18-0 victory over the Netherlands on the second day of the Women’s Baseball World Cup tournament at the USSSA Space Coast Complex.

But it was the other things – the little things – that USA coach Matt Weagle wanted to talk to his team about following the victory.

“We have high expectations on this team. That’s who we are,” Weagle said. “If there’s a little thing we need to clean up, it’s about playing the game the right way. That’s what we preach from pitch No. 1.

“I’m very happy with the girl’s performance today, but I’m doing them a disservice if I’m not trying to find things we can improve on.’

Heavy rain delayed the start of Thursday’s game by nearly 2 ½ hours, but that didn’t stop Team USA from getting off to another hot start.

A day after scoring 11 runs in the first inning against Puerto Rico, the U.S. team put a seven spot on the Netherlands in the top of the first inning.

Amanda Gianelloni hit a three-run double to highlight the inning for Team USA.

Gianelloni would later add a two-run single, giving the second baseman five RBIs for the night.

Designated hitter Megan Baltzell had a pair of doubles and drove in four runs for the U.S. Brittany Gomez and Anna Kimbrell each had two RBIs. Malaika Underwood had two hits, two walks and scored twice.

Starting pitcher Brittany Schutte, making her World Cup debut, did not allow a hit over three innings. She walked two and struck out three before handing the ball over to relievers Laura Collins and Megan Meidlinger to finish things off.

“I think she’s a power arm,” Weagle said of Schutte. “I think when she’s on her game, she’s getting ahead of hitters. I’d like to see her clean that up a little bit, but overall, she’s going to compete. It’s never going to be a matter of effort with her. She competed her butt off (tonight).”

The U.S. is now 2-0 in pool play and has outscored its opponents 32-0. But with bigger games looming down the road, Weagle is trying to make sure his team tightens up its play.

“Sometimes, when you’re up by a lot, some at-bats … all of a sudden you’re swinging at a pitch that isn’t in the zone because you get in the habit of seeing a lot of pitches and you want to push the action,” Weagle said.

“I think it’s important for these girls to go ahead and stay with their at-bats, stay with their approach and not let the score dictate that they’re going to fall out of their approach.”

The U.S. will return to action today at 6 p.m against Korea. Kelsie Whitmore is expected to get the start for Team USA.