USA offense explodes
Columbus, GA---The U.S. offense scored 37 runs and smashed 12 home runs in two games as it dispatched of Army and #21 Arizona State tonight at the NFCA Classic. The USA defeated Army 28-1 in five innings and downed ASU 9-0 in five innings.
Despite not collecting a hit in the first inning the U.S. managed to put a run on the board against Army. Natasha Watley (Irvine, CA) reached on a fielding error by Army third baseman Darcy Wilson, stole second and advanced to third on an errant throw from the catcher. Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, CA) then collected her 18th RBI of the tour with a groundout to shortstop that scored Watley. She has now driven in at least one RBI in eight consecutive games.
A walk to Lovie Jung (Fountain Valley, CA) followed by a home run by Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, CA) extended the U.S. lead to 3-0 in the second inning. Kelly Kretschman (Indian Harbour Beach, FL) kept the rally going with a double and scored on a double by Watley. Leah O’Brien-Amico (Chino Hills, CA) connected on a two run shot to score Watley for the final runs of the inning and a 6-0 lead.
The U.S. batted around the order in the third scoring 10 runs on eight hits to take a commanding 16-0 lead. Jung and Jenny Topping (Whittier, CA) each homered and combined for five RBI in the inning.
A repeat performance in the fourth saw the U.S. bat around the order again and tack on 12 additional runs for a 28-1 advantage. The offense hit four more home runs in the inning for a total of eight in the game. Jung had two home runs in the inning and finished the game going 3-for-3 with three home runs and seven RBI. Lisa Fernandez (Long Beach, CA) and Laura Berg (Santa Fe Springs, CA) each homered in the inning.
Army catcher Jamie Gjurgevich broke up the shutout in the fourth hitting a solo home run to centerfield. Lori Harrigan (Las Vegas, NV) improved to 2-0 on the tour after allowing one run on two hits and fanned six in four innings. Fernandez pitched the final inning.
The home run barrage continued in the nightcap as they U.S. downed Arizona State 9-0. Bustos increased her RBI streak to nine games with a solo home run in the first inning.
Four home runs in the second inning gave the Red, White and Blue a comfortable 8-0 lead. Mendoza led off the inning with a solo shot to right field and Tairia Mims Flowers followed with a one out homer to left field. A walk to Berg and infield singles by Watley and Amico loaded the bases for Bustos who walked to collect her 19 RBI of the tour. With the bases still loaded, Fernandez smashed a home run to right field for her second grand slam of the tour.
The final run of the game came off a sacrifice fly by Watley to score Mims Flowers who reached on a fielding error.
With the double-header sweep the U.S. extends its pre-Olympic tour win streak to 124 games and has now outscored its pre-Olympic tour opponents 925-12. On the 2004 ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour the USA has outscored opponents 100-6 and has crushed 26 home runs in just nine games.