MANILA, Philippines - Fil-Am recruits made an immediate impact for the Philippines as the Blu Girls beat Venezuela, 3-0, to kick off their bid in the World Cup of Softball IX Monday at Bill Barber Park in Irvine, California (Tuesday in Manila).
Francesca Foti of UNLV anchored the defense as she held off Venezuela’s batters for full seven innings to power Phl IX to the victory and a share of the early lead in the seven-nation meet.
The Blu Girls are tied with Canada, an 11-4 winner over Japan (five innings) after the first day of action.
Foti gave up only five hits in her no-relief debut that left the Venezuelans’ offense in tatters. Venezuela could only reach scoring position against Foti once, when Mirian Jimenez doubled in the bottom second.
US-based acquisitions Garie Blando of UNLV and Dani Gilmore of Oregon State delivered in the offensive end, in tandem with Francesca Altomonte.
Blando got the Blu Girls in the board in the first inning when she slammed a hard grounder to left field to send fellow Fil-Am Leia Ruiz home from third. Ruiz earlier singled and advanced twice after a wild pitch and an illegal pitch.
Francesca Altomonte doubled the lead in the next inning with a run-producing double to left.
Gilmore made it a three-run cushion in the fifth with her RBI single to left.
Later in the day, Venezuela bounced back with a come-from-behind 6-3 victory over Chinese-Taipei for a 1-1 slate.
The Venezuelans unleashed five runs in the sixth inning to overturn a 1-2 deficit and salvage the victory.
Host USA defeated Mexico in an exhibition match, 7-0.