Australia starting pitcher Kaia Parnaby brought her best stuff, and it still wasn't enough.
U.S. starter Jordan Taylor matched Parnaby pitch for pitch, helping the Americans to a 3-1 over the Aussies in the World Cup of Softball on Friday night at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
Neither hurler had allowed more than a hit through three innings, and the game had the look of an old-fashioned pitcher's duel early. Parnaby had the game well in hand, having struck out four Americans in 3 1/3 innings.
But with one out and no one on base, Team USA's Valerie Arioto smoked Parnaby's offering beyond the center field wall.
“I was just going up there thinking, ‘Get runs for our pitchers, and they'll do the rest,'” Arioto said.
Arioto's homer was the catalyst for Team USA against Australia. Otherwise, the U.S. offense has done its job well against the first two teams it faced, scoring 11 runs in two games. U.S. pitching and defense has kept teams off the base paths and off the scoreboard.
Team USA has allowed just one run in its first two games at the World Cup.
Taylor struck out five in four innings and didn't allow a run. OU pitcher Keilani Ricketts and Chelsea Thomas combined to allow just one run and three hits over the remaining three innings.