By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA – Head coach Ken Eriksen and Team USA cruised through Pan American Games qualifying while getting a big boost from USF’s ace left-hander.
Sara Nevins gave up a run on three hits in 4 1/3 innings of the USA Softball Women’s National Team’s 8-1 run-rule victory over Canada on Sunday in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Team USA took the gold medal after going 9-0 in the tournament with four wins coming from Nevins, who posted a team-high 24 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings. The pitching staff as a whole combined for six shutouts and a 1.05 ERA while Nevins registered a 1.64 ERA.
USF shortstop Kourtney Salvarola also is on the squad and helped the U.S. outscore opponents, 84-4.
“Our team just keeps getting better and better," Eriksen said in a team release. "We still have a long way to go, but we are doing some things now that I like. The girls aren't worried about any personal agendas and they've really taken on a philosophy of 'What can I do to make this team better?' I'm impressed with their attitude of giving it up for those three letters across their chest and not the name on the back of the uniform."
The Pan American Games will take place July 10-26, 2015 in Toronto and Team USA will be competing against Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Brazil. Next up for Team USA is the International Softball Federation World Championships that take place Aug. 15-24, 2014 in Haarlem, Holland.