US shuts out Australia 3-0 for World Cup crown
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Samantha Fischer doubled in two runs, Michelle Moultrie circled the bases after dropping a bunt just in front of home plate and the United States beat Australia 3-0 Monday night to win its sixth straight World Cup of Softball championship.
Jackie Traina, Jordan Taylor, Keilani Ricketts combined on a one-hit shutout for the Americans, who outscored opponents 43-3 in their six games.
The U.S. jumped ahead in the bottom of the first when center fielder Verity Long-Droppert broke inward on Fischer's line drive with two outs and let the ball get over her head. Kaitlin Cochran and Stacy May-Johnson raced around to score.
Moultrie then capitalized on another Australian miscue to score on her bunt single in the fifth. Third baseman Stacey Porter's throw to first sailed into right field and rolled along the wall while Moultrie sped around the bases.
The Americans will next head to the Canadian Open, where top rival Japan will be in the field after skipping this year's World Cup for the first time. The Japanese won the gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and the sport won't be played at this summer's London Games after the International Olympic Committee dropped it from the program.
The sport's two top teams are set to play on Saturday.
After that, it's on to the world championships - also to be played in Canada. The U.S. has won the last seven world titles, beating Japan in the title game the last three times, most recently in 2010.
Leigh Godfrey had the only hit for the Australians, when she dropped in a looping single down the left-field line with one out in the fourth against Traina.
Taylor struck out two of the three batters she faced in the fifth before Ricketts retired six in a row to earn the save.