U.S. defeats Sorcerer All Stars 6-1
HAYWARD, CA – In front of a 2,000 plus crowd, the USA Softball Olympic team recorded a 6-1 victory over the Sorcerer All Stars in Hayward, CA on Saturday night. Improving to 31-0 along the ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour, the U.S. connected on 11 hits as the pitching of Cat Osterman (Houston, TX) and Jennie Finch (La Mirada, CA) allowed just two hits in the contest. A combination of top college and high school players from the area, seven members of the 16 person Sorcerer roster recently competed in the College World Series for either California or Stanford.
“Tonight was a great game for us,” U.S. head coach Mike Candrea said. “We had some great pitching coming at us and we had some good and bad at bats, but that is what we want in order to learn from each time at the plate. I thought our short game was strong tonight and we also were aggressive on the bases. They were a good team and it was a great atmosphere.”
Battling All-American California starting pitcher Kristina Thorson, the defending U.S. Olympic gold medal team responded early with a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning after a walk issued to Lisa Fernandez (Long Beach, CA) followed by a single to left field from Lovieanne Jung (Fountain Valley, CA) put two runners aboard. A groundout from Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, CA) then advanced the runners while the left handed swing of Laura Berg (Santa Fe Springs, CA) later connected on a two RBI double left field.
The Sorcerers retaliated in the bottom of the inning with one run thanks to a soaring triple to right field by 2004 USA Elite team member and current Cal Bear Vicki Galindo. A fielding error by USA first baseman Leah O’Brien-Amico (Chino Hills, CA) then plated Galindo for the Sorcerer’s only run of the game as south paw Osterman silenced the bats retiring the side via strikeout. The run was the first recorded against the U.S. in tour action since March 26 when they defeated the University of Arizona 6-1.
It was all Red, White and Blue through the next five innings as the U.S. offensive arsenal rallied for nine additional hits and four runs. 2000 Olympian Stacey Nuveman (La Verne, CA) added power at the plate blasting a one out home run to right center in the third inning marking her third in just two days.
Ahead 3-1, the U.S. increased the lead with a strong fourth inning started by lead off bunt single from Kretschman followed by a fielder’s choice from Mendoza. Quick on the bases, Mendoza then stole second and advanced to third after a successful sacrifice bunt from Berg. A left handed slap from Watley plated Berg before the bat of Amico blasted an RBI double through the right side. Nuveman, who finished 2-for-3 for the night, then ripped an RBI double to the opposite side pushing the U.S. to the eventual 6-1 win.
Osterman moved to 10-0 on the tour recording 13 strikeouts while Watley, batting .453 on the tour, finished the evening 2-for-3 with one RBI.
The U.S. team will continue its preparation along the ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour on Monday, June 7 with double header action in Sacramento, CA at the Sacramento Softball Complex at 6 p.m.
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.