OKLAHOMA CITY — U.S. softball coach Ken Eriksen has watched Lauren Gibson play for his team for three years and said he's become a bit spoiled by her.
In the World Cup of Softball opener on Thursday night, Gibson turned in one of those performances that Eriksen has come to love, going 2 for 3 with a home run, two RBIs, two stolen bases and three runs scored as the U.S. routed Canada 7-0 in six innings.
Sara Nevins and Jessica Moore combined on a two-hitter for the U.S., which has won the last six World Cups and is 40-4 all-time in the event, one of the major tournaments on the international softball circuit.
"It's good to be positive about what went on tonight," Eriksen said. "We've got to build upon it. We went out and I thought we executed well when we had to. I thought some really, really good at-bats. . They are so talented right now. They've just need to trust themselves and we'll be in good shape."
Gibson, the Southeastern Conference player of the year at Tennessee this spring, did a little bit of everything for the U.S., which jumped ahead quickly with four runs in the first two innings and never gave Canada a chance to gain any momentum.
"We see it every single day, so we don't get excited," Eriksen said. "In practice she's like that, so we get spoiled, so we have to learn to appreciate it a little bit more and make sure she realizes we appreciate it. But that's typical Gibson in this program. She gets pretty jacked up when she puts the red, white and blue on."
In the only other World Cup game played Thursday, Japan beat Australia 3-2. Puerto Rico also is in the five-team field.
The U.S. will play Australia today.