Erin Thras put on a powerful offensive performance as the Aussie Spirit began their World Cup campaign in Oklahoma City with a 7-2 win over the Netherlands.
Thras homered, doubled and singled, driving in three runs and scoring twice, as Australia took the lead in the second inning and never looked back.
Stacey Porter, Chelsea Forkin and Stacey McManus each had two hits for the Spirit, who outhit the Netherlands 13-4. Janice Blackman, Benda De Blaes, Taylah Tsitsikronis and Rachel Lack each had one hit. Lack’s hit was a solo home run in the fifth inning that gave Australia a 4-0 lead.
Starting pitcher Vanessa Stokes dominated for four innings, allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out three.
Australia opened the scoring in the second inning,with an RBI groundout by McManus. They then scored a run in each of the next three innings, before putting the game beyond doubt in the sixth with Forkin’s RBI single and a two-run blast by Thras.
The Netherlands showed some life in the sixth inning, with an RBI triple by Soclania Van Gurp and an RBI single by Jessie Van Aalst. But relief pitcher Kaia Parnaby got Dinet Oosting to strike out to end any threat of a comeback.
Australia’s next game is against Venezuela tomorrow.
For live streaming, results of other games and more details on the tournament, go to http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Softball/Events/2016/July/05/World-Cup-of-Softball-XI