U.S. now 3-0 in pool play after beating Korea 11-1
Team USA's Megan Baltzell, shown here during a game against The Netherlands, went 2-for-2 with a double and two RBIs in an 11-1 victory over Korea in the Women's Baseball World Cup at the USSSA Space Coast Complex.
VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala
The United States improved to 3-0 in 2018 WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup pool play on Friday night, easily dispatching South Korea by a score of 11-1 in a game that was called after five innings due to the mercy rule.
The U.S. has defeated its first three opponents in the tournament (Puerto Rico, The Netherlands and South Korea) by a combined score of 43-1.
“I think we’re doing a good job. We talk about having a good approach at the plate, swinging at our pitches,” said U.S. manager Matt Weagle. “… there’s been a lot of balls thrown our way and again, not to jump out of our approach, swing at balls above our numbers, things like that. I think they’ve done a good job, and then when they do see the pitch they can hit, they’ve been driving the ball.”
The Americans got off to a quick start, scoring five runs in the first inning with catcher Anna Kimbrell capping off the scoring with a two-run single. They padded their lead with three more runs in the second inning with a hard-hit, two-run double to off the bat of Megan Baltzell that highlighted the U.S. rally.
Baltzell scored two runs and went 2-for-2 with a double, two RBIs and a walk.
“From 2016 (the 2016 WBSC Women’s World Cup, in which the U.S. was unable to advance to the Super Round), we unfortunately had a little bit of a downfall with the outcome of the games so we have a grudge,” Baltzell said. “We’ve got something on our back saying we’re going to push all the way through, no matter what, no matter who we’re playing.
“We’re going to keep that gas pedal on and we’re going to redeem ourselves from 2016.”
After South Korea plated its lone run of the contest courtesy of an RBI single by Rakyung Kim, the U.S. scored three more runs that would push the score to a margin to where the 10-run mercy rule would eventually be utilized. Kimbrell hit another two-run double to conclude the game’s scoring.
“It’s pretty great to be part of such a good team,” said Kimbrell, who went 3-for-3 with two doubles and four RBIs. “I have great teammates. Everybody can hit, everybody can play their position and that’s one of the things that makes us as great.
“Anybody can step in and do the job and we all have faith in each other. We kind of rally around each other for that, and I just think it’s awesome. It’s a great team to be a part of and we just enjoy getting together, playing and hanging out together after the game.”
U.S. starting pitcher Kelsie Whitmore pitched four innings and allowed three hits, two walks and an earned run in four innings of work to pick up the win. She also struck out three batters.
The United States will play Venezuela at 2 p.m. today while South Korea will take on Chinese Taipei at 10 a.m.