Stanford grads help USA National Team keep perfect in World Cup of Softball


Stanford grads Alissa Haber and Lauren Lappin contributed to Team USA's 5-0 victory over Japan on Friday in the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City. The U.S. Women's National Team blanked Japan for a third straight time, including a 4-0 decision in the semifinals at the Women's World Championship and a 7-0 triumph in the gold medal game.

The game had more action than the scoreboard reflected. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, Japan's Naoko Matsumoto lofted a fly ball to right field. Kaitlin Cochran made the catch and launched it to Lappin, the starting catcher, just in time to tag Satoko Mabuchi at the plate for a double play.

"I'm just glad I could get it to Lappin in time," Cochran said. "All of the Japanese players are quick, they have great speed, so I knew I just had to throw it home quickly if we wanted to keep them scoreless. It got there just in time for her to make that great tag at home."

It ended a great game not only for the nine-time women's world champions but also for Cochran, who homered to right center in the third, her second blast of the World Cup.

Haber reached on a fielder's choice in the second, bringing in Cochran, who singled to right field. A fielding error by the catcher also allowed Chelsea Bramlett to score. In the sixth, Natasha Watley had a two-run single, bringing in pitcher Jennie Finch and Andrea Duran to make it a 5-0 game.

Men's water polo

Stanford grad Thomas Hopkins scored a team-high three goals and the United States men's national water polo team played to a 9-9 draw with Germany on Friday, the final day of pool play at the Eight Nations tournament in Italy.

Cardinal grad Peter Varellas scored twice for the Americans, who finished in a tie with the Germans in their group. Both teams advance to Saturday's semifinals. The U.S. plays host Italy.

The U.S. heads to the FINA World Cup in Oradea, Romania, which begins Tuesday with a game against China.

Women's water polo

Stanford incoming freshman Kaley Dodson scored a goal and the U.S. junior national team downed New Zealand, 14-0, on Friday.

-- Palo Alto Online Sports/USA Softball

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