USA East tops EMEA, 7-2
Katie Headley slugged a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth to open up a tight game, and USA East (Pawcatuck, Conn.) rode the arm of pitcher Andrea Chiaradio to win a tough 7-2 game against EMEA (Emelia, Italy) in their game on Monday, Aug. 8.
With the score at 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth, the East squad got three runners on base via walks against EMEA pitcher Chiara Lottici. Headley then took Loticci’s pitch to deep center to open the margin.
It started out looking like it could be an easy win for USA East. Chiaradio started off the game by striking out the first three batters she faced, to cruise through the top of the first inning, and then she led off the bottom half of the inning with a walk, advancing to third on a wild pitch by EMEA’s Carlotta Onofri and a fly out. Summer Cipriani then plated Chiaradio with a single, to open the scoring and give East a 1-0 lead.
EMEA did not look phased by the start of USA East. Sandra Ugolotti led off with a walk, and back-to-back singles by Martina Laghi and Linda Brolli loaded the bases for EMEA with no outs. But Chiaradio struck out Manuela Mazzoni, Margherita Radice and Sonia Callozzo in order to escape harm and preserve the lead for USA East.
It didn’t look much better for EMEA in the third, after Chiaradio struck out the first two batters, giving her eight strikeouts in her first 2 2/3 innings of work. However, Onofri drew a walk and stole second, and Ugolotti followed with a base hit to score Onofri and tie the game at 1-1. Chiaradio struck out Martina Laghi to end the inning and give her an amazing nine strikeouts in three innings.
Kayla Collins led off the bottom of the third with a bloop hit to center for USA East, and she came around to score a few batters later on a fielder’s choice and give the East a 2-1 lead. Loticci then replaced Onofri on the hill, and she gave up a run-scoring single by Gabi Hoops to extend East’s lead to 3-1.
EMEA again looked to rally in the top of the fourth, with three batters getting on with walks. But Chiaradio again snuffed the rally, notching two more strikeouts, to give her 11 through four innings of work. EMEA did score a run in the fifth against new East pitcher Cipriani on an RBI single by Martina Laghi to close the gap to 3-2.
Roslin Wilhelm, Chiaradio and Ally Curioso all drew walks in the bottom of the sixth for USA East, and with two outs, Headley blasted her grand slam to open the score to 7-2.
Cipriana put down EMEA in the top of the seventh to wrap up the game.
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