Jessica Moore has pitched eight innings in the World Cup of softball and only allowed one hit and two walks.
In Team USA's second game of the World Cup on Friday at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium, the former Oregon Duck struck out four in the Americans' 4-0 victory over Australia.
The 2013 graduate was a top-10 finalist for the USA Softball Player of the Year award and earned NCAA first-team All-America honors in her senior season. Moore led the Ducks to three NCAA Super Regional appearances and a Women's College World Series appearance in 2012 during her time in Eugene, Ore.
She finished her career with the Ducks with school records in wins (97) and strikeouts (170).
“I was mixing speeds pretty well, I threw some pretty good change-ups, so they kind of had that in the back of their mind I think,” Moore said of her performance on Friday night. “I did an OK job of hitting my spots, so, you know, I was just able to get them out.
“I could have hit some of my spots little better. I rolled out some good outs, defense played great, there were some hard-hit balls, so I could have done a little bit better job hitting some spots, but I felt like I had a pretty good first outing for my first win.”
Moore explained after the game she thought she had only performed “OK.”. She said she still had things she needed to improve on, and she wasn't satisfied.
Team USA coach Ken Eriksen said he was pleased to hear his player not being OK with a pretty good job.
“That's good. I'm glad to hear that,” Eriksen said. “I'd like to see when she's great. If she pitched OK, then I'm going to sleep really, really well tonight. So no problems with that.”
Team USA has pitched two shutouts in two World Cup games. USA Softball took a lot of heat for the way it handled its contract negotiations with Oklahoma standout and 2013 Collegiate Player of the Year Keilani Ricketts.
But for all the media attention and discussion about how the team would make it through the tournament without one of the best players in the game, Team USA is 2-0 in the World Cup and about to play what could be its biggest contest of the weekend.
Eriksen said neither he nor the team has focused on the hype. They can only focus on things in the present, and presently they have a game against Japan on Saturday.
“If you think about it, you guys are making a little bit of a mountain out of a mole hill with that,” Eriksen said. “I think it's time to move on. The young lady's made a great decision in life; she's a phenomenal person, I love her to death. And so we're Team USA right now, and that's what we're going to go to bat with tomorrow against Japan.”
Lauren Gibson got the scoring started for the Americans with a two-run single in the bottom of the third inning against Australia, plating Michelle Moultrie and Kourtney Salvarola.
With two outs in the third, Valerie Arioto delivered an RBI single to pad the American's lead. Nicole Hudson then drove in Arioto with a single.
“The energy just keeps rolling,” Arioto said. “So hopefully it goes on tomorrow, and I think that was the biggest thing for us, especially being a young and new team is that energy, you know that connection that we have together. I think we've accomplished that so far.”
The United States will face Japan at 8 p.m. Saturday. The last time the teams faced off, they played a 10-inning thriller in the 2012 International Softball Federation Women's World Championship, which Japan won 2-1.