Tiffany Huff helps lead U.S. assault

ENSCHEDE, Netherlands – The weather delayed the U.S. Junior National Team's opener at the VIII ISF Junior World Softball Championships for one day, but once the Americans were allowed to take the field on Friday, the offense pounded out 10 hits and a pair of U.S. hurlers combined on a one-hitter as the Red, White & Blue routed Puerto Rico, 11-0 in five innings.

Tennessee's Tiffany Huff ripped a single to right field in the third inning to go 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored to assist the Team USA assault.

A pair of two-out walks issued by Puerto Rico pitcher Kimberly Diaz to U.S. players Gionna DiSalvatore and Maggie Viefhaus in the bottom of the first opened the door for the Americans to jump on the scoreboard first. Shortstop Monica Harrison drove a single through the left side of the infield to bring DiSalvatore home for a 1-0 advantage.

With U.S. starter Donna Kerr (3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 7 K) in firm control from the circle over the first three innings, the Red, White & Blue erupted for three tallies in the second and six more in the third to nab a 10-0 advantage.

UT's Huff opened the attack in the second frame with a lead-off walk before being removed in favor of pinch runner Alissa Haber. She promptly swiped second and eventually moved to third as a walk to catcher Rosey Neill and a single to second base by Neena Bryant loaded the bases with no one out.

An RBI groundout by center fielder Katie Schroeder made it 2-0, and a triple down the right field line from left fielder Brittany Lastrapes plated a pair for a four-run lead.

After designated player Bianca Meija was struck by a Diaz offering to open the third frame, Huff singled to advance the runner all the way to third. A Neill triple to right-center cashed in both runners as Team USA raced in front 6-0.

Bryant singled through the right side for another RBI and a 7-0 lead bringing an end to the day in the circle for Puerto Rico hurler Diaz. Her replacement Kaylyn Camacho didn't fare much better against the U.S. offense by allowing four earned runs on four hits over two innings of work.

A two-RBI double from Viefhaus and an RBI single off the bat of pinch hitter Ashley Hansen ended the damage as the Americans improved the score to 10-0 through three innings.

DiSalvatore completed the Red, White & Blue offensive attack with an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth to make it 11-0. Team USA reliever Megan Langenfeld pitched the last two frames in relief of Kerr and allowed just one hit, a two-out, fifth-inning single from Puerto Rican first baseman Lisandra Berrios, to complete the dominating opener.

Due to Thursday's rain-out, the U.S. Junior National Team will be forced to play twice Friday. After downing Puerto Rico in the morning, the Americans are preparing to face a difficult Australia squad at 2 p.m. ET.

Event organizers are attempting a live webcast of some of the games through the official event website http:

www.wksoftbaljunioren2007.nl/home-en

For more information including live statistics, please visit the Junior Women's World Championship page through USA Softball at www.usasoftball.org.

Updates on Huff and the U.S. squad will be posted at www.utladyvols.com as they become available.

The United States is bidding for its third World Junior crown and its first in 12 years. The Red, White & Blue won the event in 1987 in Oklahoma City, Okla., and in 1995 in Normal, Illinois.

Japan has maintained a bit of a stranglehold on the title with four overall championships (1981, 1991, 1999, 2003), having defeated Team USA for the gold in each of those years, and enters 2007's action as the two-time defending titlist.

China picked up its lone crown in 1985 in Fargo , North Dakota. The Americans have never finished outside the top three at the Junior World Championships by registering two gold medals, four silvers and a bronze (1985) in seven previous visits.

Sixteen teams from around the world earned a spot into the World Championships which are held every four years, including: Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, United States and Venezuela.

Four of those teams are making their Junior Women's World Championship debut (Botswana, Germany, Puerto Rico and South Africa).

Team USA will open preliminary round action in Pool B alongside Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Canada, Italy, Puerto Rico and Russia.

Tennessee's Huff made quite a splash for the Lady Vols during her rookie campaign by hitting .339 (62-of-183) over 61 games with 11 doubles, a triple, six home runs and 58 RBI.

The freshman All-Southeastern Conference selection also scored 24 runs, stole seven bases, slugged at a .508 clip and registered 17 multi-hit efforts while helping the Big Orange to the program's first No. 1 national ranking, a 63-8 overall record and an eventual second-place finish at the annual Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.

A native of Saugus, Calif., Huff tied for the team-lead with 16 multi-RBI contests and posted a career-best five RBI in UT's 9-0 victory over No. 12 Hawai'i in Tennessee's NCAA Super Regional opener.


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