World Championship Game Three: Australia 13, Serbia 0.
Another dominant pitching performance and a powerful display of hitting carried the Aussie Spirit to their second consecutive crushing win in the Softball World Championship.
This time Serbia were the victims of the Aussie onslaught, with the Spirit taking control from the start and winning 13-0 on the run-ahead rule after four innings.
After two Spirit pitchers combined for a no-hitter against Switzerland in Game Two, on this occasion two different pitchers went one step further, not even allowing a base runner in four perfect innings.
Vanessa Stokes set the tone, striking out seven in three dominant innings. Her work was finished off in the final inning by Kaia Parnaby, who struck out two.
The Spirit had multiple contributors with the bat, but none better than Chelsea Forkin, whose three hits included her first home run of the tournament and her third double.
Leadoff hitter Janice Blackman got her team off to an ideal start by hitting an 0-2 pitch for a single, the first of five consecutive hits before an out was made. Clare Warwick, Forkin, Brenda De Blaes and Jade Wall all hit safely. Even the first out was productive, with Erin Thras hitting a sacrifice fly that scored De Blaes and gave the Spirit a 4-0 lead.
It was a similar story in the second inning, which began when Belinda White tripled and scored on Blackman’s single. A double by Forkin and an RBI single by De Blaes made it 7-0 in favour of the Spirit.
Coach Fabian Barlow made multiple changes to start the third inning, and the hitters responded with six more runs. Carmelle Sorensen led off with a double, Georgia Blair reached on an error, and both came home on White’s double.
After Rachel Lack was hit by a pitch, she scored on Forkin’s homer. The barrage of extra-base hits continued when De Blaes doubled and Wall tripled, with Wall later scoring on Sorensen’s double.
The result means that end of the first round of pool play, Australia have a 2-1 win-loss record, marred only by the extra-inning defeat against Mexico in the first game.
In total, the Spirit have scored 25 runs and conceded only two, finishing second in their pool behind Mexico.
Australia will play the Philippines tomorrow morning AEST. The draw for the rest of the second round of pool play has yet to be released.