Finch fantastic in all-star game

Feb. 28, 2004, 1:59 p.m. (ET)
Finch fantastic in all-star game
 
Pitcher records final two outs with no team on field
 
BY CHRISTA TURNER
Staff Writer - Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
 
Haven't seen enough of Team USA pitcher Jennie Finch? Well, tune your televisions to NBC-38 on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. to watch Finch and Lisa Fernandez, who has two Olympic gold medals, coach baseball players in the Major League Baseball Pepsi Challenge All-Star softball game, which was taped earlier this month.
 
Although a slowpitch game, Finch entered the game one inning and switched to fastpitch to record the final two outs. She struck out Mike Piazza and Brian Giles while her team left the field, leaving it empty behind her.
 
After the game, Finch dominated all MLB players willing to step into the batter's box against her. She struck out every batter, including former Glenwood and Auburn University star Tim Hudson, a pitcher with the Oakland A's. However, Hudson drew cheers when he was the only player to get the bat on a Finch pitch.
 
Finch hosted a segment last season on "This Week In Baseball," in which she would interview a major leaguer. Then she promptly struck them out.
During one of the shows, the newest New York Yankee, Alex Rodriguez, wouldn't swing against Finch. He issued Finch a challenge, saying he'd face her when she brought home a gold medal.
 
Finch and her U.S. teammates are currently on their "Aiming for Athens" tour, playing colleges and eventually professional women's teams. They played two exhibition games on Friday and will play twice today and once on Sunday at the NFCA Leadoff Classic.
 
The team will sign autographs today from 5-5:30 p.m. in the stadium at South Commons and from 3:30-4 p.m. on Sunday at Field 8.
 
On Friday, one fan paid $1,525 for game-worn cleats autographed by Finch in an e-Bay auction hosted by USA Softball. An autographed Finch bat went for $810, eclipsing the previous high of $680 for a team-autographed batting helmet.
 
Finch's popularity grew after she was named Best Dressed at the 2003 Espys. She was also chosen as the world's sexiest female athlete in a poll on ESPN.com, knocking tennis star Anna Kournikova from that long-held spot.