USA defeats Italy 5-0
Tierrenia, Italy---Competing in its second game of 2004 Italy Exhibition Series, the USA Softball Women’s National Team posted a convincing 5-0 win over the Italian National Team which is seeded 6th at the upcoming Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The U.S. offense chipped away the entire game posting runs in the second and third innings before putting it away late in the seventh inning.
After leaving a runner stranded at third in the first inning, the U.S. posted a lone run in the second. Stacey Nuveman (La Verne, CA) reached on a fielding error by the shortshop and then was pinch ran for by Jamie Clark (Tustin, CA). After consecutive strikeouts, Tairia Mims Flowers (Tucson, AZ) pushed a ball up the middle to score Clark and give the U.S. the only lead it would need.
In the third the Red, White and Blue added an insurance run after Natasha Wately (Irvine, CA) reached on and infield single, stole second base, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, CA) and a scored on a wild pitch.
The U.S. run production was halted until the seventh when it managed to score three runs on just two hits but was issued three walks in the inning to keep the rally moving. Watley once again led off and inning with a single, stole second and scored after the third walk was issued to Lisa Fernandez (Long Beach, CA). With bases loaded due to three consecutive walks, Nuveman singled to right center to score one run and Kelly Kretschman (Indian Harbour Beach, FL) hit a sacrifice fly for the final run of the game.
Lori Harrigan (Las Vegas, NV) pitched four innings to pick up the win allowing only one hit and Lisa Fernandez got the save after tossing three complete shutout innings with seven strikeouts.
Watley was on the base paths all day going 2-for-3 with a walk and scored twice and Nuveman matched her effort going 2-for-3 and reached on an error and drove in one run.
The U.S. completes the series on Sunday at 10 a.m. The team will then take the day off on Monday before traveling back to the U.S. on Tuesday.