USA vs. Australia Softball: Start Time, Date, Live Stream, Preview and More
Coming off an 8-0 demolition of Puerto Rico, there couldn't be a better time for the U.S. to face Australia in the World Cup of Softball.
The American team tallied seven hits and seven walks over five innings en route to the win on Thursday night. Starter Chelsea Thomas tallied six strikeouts in 3.2 innings and, in collaboration with Jackie Traina, registered a one-hitter. Puerto Rico, making its first appearance at the World Cup of Softball, registered its only hit in the first inning.
Though the five-time defending champs in the World Cup of Softball are still disappointed they won't be making the trip to London next month for the Olympics—there's no softball competition until at least 2020—they live on another day in the hopes of winning a sixth Cup.
Where: Oklahoma City, Okla.
When: Friday, June 29 at 7 p.m.
Live Stream: ESPN3
Players to Watch
Cochran has been a part of the national team since 2009 and looks forward to the World Cup every year as the premiere event of her season.
Though her disappointment that there's no softball event at the Olympics lingers on, she's trying not to focus on it because she knows that the better the U.S. team becomes and the more attention she can help the World Cup of Softball achieve, the better the chances that somewhere down the line she can help younger generations of players get a shot at playing in the Olympic games someday.
She told The Oklahoman's Anthony Slater:
I want the future of our sport to keep moving forward. If I don’t get the chance to play in the Olympics, that’s OK. I just want girls who are 10, 11, 12 years old right now to be able to play in 2020.
Traina's name might be familiar to you because you heard a lot about her earlier this month, when she was a crucial factor in Alabama's first Women's College World Series championship.
The All-American pitcher took off for invitation-only tryouts for the U.S. national team just two days after bringing home the national title to Alabama. She managed to make the team despite putting the Crimson Tide's entire season on her arm: She threw every pitch for Bama at the WCWS.
In Thursday's win over Puerto Rico, she combined with starter Chelsea Thomas to notch a no-hitter.
Will the U.S. win its sixth World Cup of Softball?
If the Americans are going to win their sixth consecutive World Cup of Softball, Orgeron figures to be a big part of it: She was a key component of the U.S.'s offense on Thursday night, tallying two doubles in the 8-0 win. She also had a sac fly in the second inning to bring in a run.
It is her patient approach at the plate—and her willingness to do the little things—that sets the tone for the rest of the team. Nobody tries to do too much, and as a result the whole team is able to stay relaxed and focused. Orgeron told the Associated Press:
No one was getting overanxious trying to make something happen. Being able to do the little things right at the plate, laying down sac bunts when we needed to, stealing bases, moving up on [wild pitches], those are the kind of things that will win you ballgames without ever having to get a hit.
Prediction: U.S. Wins 10-2
The Americans keep rolling in their quest to win their sixth straight championship. They do the little things at the plate to get the job done, and their stellar pitching holds the Australians at bay.
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