USA Softball rolls to 46th consecutive win on “Aiming for Athens’ tour
Killeen, TX---The USA Softball Women’s National Team used an explosive fourth inning to defeat Texas Elite 11-0 in five innings on the 22nd stop of the ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour. With a crowd of 2,100 on hand, the U.S. plated six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to break open the game and collect its 160th consecutive victory in pre-Olympic tour competition.
After allowing a single in the first inning, U.S. pitcher Lisa Fernandez (Long Beach, CA) was in total control fanning seven in five innings of work. With the win she improved to 12-0 on the ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour. In 77 2/3 innings of work on the tour, she has allowed only two earned runs, fanning a total of 115 while walking only five.
Two extra base hits in the second were responsible for the opening run of the game. With two outs, Kelly Kretschman (Indian Harbour Beach, FL) doubled to left center and scored on a triple by Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, CA).
Back-to-back walks to Lovieanne Jung (Westminster, CA) and Kretschman got the U.S. rally rolling in the fourth. Mendoza drove in her second and third RBI of the game with a double to right center to extend the U.S. lead to 3-0. A single by Leah O’Brien-Amico (Chino Hills, CA) drove in two runs and a single by Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, CA) plated another in the inning.
The game was called in the bottom of the fifth inning due to the mercy rule. Mendoza led off with a double and scored on a double by Amanda Freed (Cypress, CA). A Natasha Watley (Irvine, CA) single up the middle scored Freed before Bustos launched a 1-0 pitch over the left field fence for the walk off victory.
2003 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team member Meagan Denny of Crawley, TX held the powerful U.S. bats in check for three innings before being tagged for six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Prior to the fourth, Denny allowed only one run on three hits. Samantha Buckner was the lone Elite player to collect a hit against Fernandez. Bustos continues to top the U.S. charts in batting average (.528), hits (75), doubles (17), home runs (21), RBI (84) and slugging percentage (1.134). Kretschman is second in hitting with a .500 batting average, nine doubles, five home runs and eight RBI.
The ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour wraps up its tour of Texas on Saturday in Ft. Worth before heading to Oklahoma City for three days.