USA wins two in Stockton
STOCKTON, CA --- The USA Softball Olympic team recorded back-to-back victories on Friday evening in Stockton, CA against College All Stars from Northern California posting a total of 30 runs on the board. Capturing game one in a 24-0 mercy rule decision, starting pitcher Lisa Fernandez (Long Beach, CA) allowed just one hit while the hot bats of the U.S. offense combined for 27 hits including six doubles, one triple and five home runs. A 6-0 triumph in game two, pitchers Jennie Finch (La Mirada, CA) and Cat Osterman (Houston, TX) combined for a one-hitter retiring 16 via the strikeout. With the wins, the U.S. improved to 30-0 along the ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour while continuing a 145-game win streak in pre-Olympic tour history dating back to May 3, 1996.
In game one it was a home run rally for Team USA as Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, CA) and Stacey Nuveman (La Verne, CA) bolted two home runs a piece in the contest while Leah O’Brien Amico (Chino Hills, CA) went 4-for-4 with a home run. Amico (Chino Hills, CA) led the bottom of the first with a base hit to right field before the power of Bustos unleashed her first home run with a towering drive to left center. Back to back, it was then Nuveman who drove a 2-2 pitch to left center for a solo home run to put the U.S. ahead 3-0. The Red, White and Blue then added two more runs thanks to base hits and stolen bases from Kelly Kretschman (Indian Harbour Valley, FL) and Lovieanne Jung (Fountain Valley, CA) followed by a Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, CA) double for the early 5-0 lead.
The runs continued as the swings of every U.S. hitter almost crossed the plate twice in the second inning as the U.S. put up 11 runs on 11 hits in the inning. Eight of the nine batters recorded a hit in the second with a lead off blooper to right field from Natasha Watley (Irvine, CA), her first of two hits in the inning. Highlighted by a Bustos triple, a two run home run from Nuveman, a Watley double through the right side, an Amico dinger and Bustos’ second home run measuring approximately 300 feet, they took the ballgame out of range in the second with a 16-0 lead.
Five additional runs in the third with a two run RBI single from Amico and doubles from Watley and Nuveman extended the U.S. lead before three more runs in the fourth completed the 24-0 rout of the College All Stars. A combination of players from Stanford, Pacific, Delta College, California, Illinois, Sierra College and Sacramento City College, Fernandez stifled hitters tossing a complete five innings win allowing just one hit with six strikeouts.
Bustos, hitting .573, led the RBI charts with six going 4-for-5 on the night. Watley connected with a 3-for-4 outing, Nuveman was 4-for-5 with five RB I while Jung and Kretschman contributed three hits a piece. Laura Berg (Santa Fe Springs, CA) and Mendoza recorded 2-for-3 outings in the contest.
In the second victory of the night, the U.S. took a 6-0 seven inning decision over the College All Stars. Right handed ace Jennie Finch (La Mirada, CA) led the U.S. efforts capturing the win tossing five innings with 10 strikeouts before Cat Osterman (Houston, TX) tossed two perfect innings striking out all six batters she faced.
Battling Stanford pitching ace Laura Severson, it was the quick home run swing of designated player Bustos that once again put the U.S. on top 1-0 in the first. A lead off single through the left side from Jenny Topping (Whittier, CA) jumped started a two run inning in the bottom half of the second. Jung then doubled to right field to score Topping before a fielder’s choice from Amanda Freed (Cypress, CA) sent Jung across for the 3-0 advantage.
One more run added in the third followed by two runs off a Mendoza home run, the seventh for the U.S. on the night, sealed the eventual 6-0 victory for the home team. Mendoza and Bustos led the game batting 2-for-3 a piece.
The U.S. continues tour action on Saturday in a one game match up in Hayward, CA at 7 p.m. against college all star opponents.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 92 state and metro associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 240,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit www.asasoftball.com
About USA Softball
USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting women’s, men’s, junior girls’ and junior boys’ National Teams that compete in international and domestic competitions. USA Softball is one of the only two women’s sports to capture back-to-back gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996 and has captured the past five World and Pan am gold medals. The USA Women’s Team has not lost a major international gold medal.