Fitu Shines on USA Futures Team

Jessica Fitu had two hits against Canada as a member of the USA National Futures team (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Named as the final selection to the USA Softball Women’s Futures National Team less than a month ago, BYU catcher Jessica Purcell-Fitu earned a starting role and provided the key hit in a win over Canada at the 2010 KFC World Cup of Softball last weekend.

After sitting out the Futures' first game, a 3-2 loss to the Japanese National Team the day before, Purcell-Fitu made her USA debut on Friday, July 23, as the starting catcher against the Canadian National Team.

With the Futures down 4-2 going into the bottom of the sixth inning, the BYU All-American hit a game-tying, two-RBI single to center field off a 2-1 pitch by the reigning USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Danielle Lawrie. Purcell-Fitu advanced to second on the throw.

The BYU senior-to-be's hit also led to the game-winning run after Niki Williams came in as a pinch runner for Purcell-Fitu and scored one batter later.

"She did a terrific job behind the plate," said Futures head coach Kate Drohan of Fitu according to a USA Softball press release. "She only had three days to get to know our pitchers, learn our game plan and get comfortable. Then for her to come up with a huge at bat, battle it out and get a huge hit with two strikes; that’s a big time play for us."

Purcell-Fitu also excelled on the defensive end, stopping a potential run with a play at the plate in the fourth inning.

Purcell-Fitu and the USA Futures played two games on Saturday, July 24. Starting again at catcher, Purcell-Fitu went 0-for-2 with four putouts and one assist in a 1-0 loss to the world champion USA National Team. It was a rare chance for Pucell-Fitu to be in the opposing dugout to her usual coach, BYU head coach Gordon Eakin, an assistant on the National Team.

Later in the day the Futures lost again, this time a 5-4 loss to Canada with Purcell-Fitu sitting out. She made her final appearance on July 25, going 0-for-3 with two putouts in a 2-1 win over Japan.