USA tops Wisconsin All-Stars 5-0
STEVENS POINT, WI – The USA Softball Women’s National team remained undefeated at 51-0 on Thursday evening after capturing a 5-0 victory over the Wisconsin/Midwest All-Stars at Zenoff Park. A 3,000 plus crowd, Team USA was led by south paw Lori Harrigan (Las Vegas, NV) who shutout her opponents allowing three hits, no runs with 12 strikeouts. With the win Harrigan advanced to 8-0 in ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour action, while the Red, White and Blue pushed its pre-Olympic tour win streak to 165 dating back to 1996.
Starting pitcher for the Wisconsin/Midwest All-Stars, Kristin Schmidt (Cottage Grove, MN), held Team USA scoreless through the first two innings before back-to-back fielding errors by the All-Stars allowed the first U.S. run to score. Lead off hitter Natasha Watley (Irvine, CA) reached on a bobbled play by the second baseman before a wild throw from the catcher on a Leah O’Brien-Amico (Chino Hills, CA) sacrifice bunt allowed Watley cross home plate giving the U.S. the 1-0 lead. A singled laced through the right side from Lisa Fernandez (Long Beach, CA) then scored Amico before the U.S. bats knocked in a third run thanks to base hit to left center from Lovieanne Jung (Fountain Valley, CA).
Harrigan continued to stifle the All-Star hitters through the fourth and fifth innings before Team USA sealed the 5-0 victory adding two runs in the fifth. Her 93rd RBI of the tour, Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, CA) drove the first run of the inning plating Amico who reached with a walk to begin the inning. Bustos later advanced to third on a passed ball before Stacey Nuveman (La Verne, CA) added a successful sacrifice flyout bringing Bustos across home plate for the final run.
Watley, batting .478 from the No. 1 spot, led the U.S. offense with a 2-for-4 outing while six of the nine starters each contributed a hit in the victory.
Team USA will close out its 2004 ‘Aiming for Athens’ on Saturday with a doubleheader in Stratford, CT against the Raybestos Brakettes beginning at 6 p.m. at DeLuca Hall of Fame Field. A 10-day break, the Team will then depart for Athens, Greece on July 28 to practice in Athens before its first game on August 14 against Italy.