USA Softball improves in pre-Olympic competition

June 15, 2004, 10:04 a.m. (ET)
USA Softball improves to 151-0 in pre-Olympic competition
Montgomery, AL---The USA Softball Women’s National Team defeated the Southeastern Collegiate All-Stars 6-1 in front of 2,600 tonight at Lagoon Park to improve to 37-0 on the ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour. With the win, the U.S. stretches its pre-Olympic tour win streak to 151-games dating back to May 3, 1996.
A lead-off walk to U.S. catcher Stacey Nuveman (La Verne, CA) started a second inning rally that put the U.S. up 1-0. Pinch-runner Jaime Clark (Tustin, CA) moved to second after a sacrifice bunt by Lisa Fernandez (Long Beach, CA) and scored on a single by Lovie Jung (Fountain Valley, CA).
Natasha Watley (Irvine, CA) singled to lead off the third inning and scored on a two-run blast by Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, CA), her 19th home run and 69th RBI of the tour. A double by Nuveman kept the rally going and a single by Fernandez plated the fourth run of the game.
Despite collecting three hits in the first three innings, the Southeastern Collegiate All-Stars were unable to score until the fourth when they capitalized on two U.S. errors. University of Alabama sophomore Stephanie VanBrakle reached on an error by U.S. first baseman Leah O’Brien-Amico (Chino Hills, CA) and scored when University of Alabama junior Ashley Courtney singled and O’Brien-Amico made an errant throw to second trying to throw out Courtney who was trying to stretch a single into a double.
In the bottom of the fourth, back-to-back walks to Kelly Kretschman (Indian Harbour Beach, FL) and Amanda Freed (Cypress, CA) got the offense on track once again. Both runners advanced on a groundout by Laura Berg (Santa Fe Springs, CA) and Kretschman scored on a groundout by Watley to increase the U.S. advantage to 5-1.
The final run of the game came in the bottom of the sixth inning, when Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, CA) launched a solo shot to center field to give the Red, White and Blue a 6-1 lead.
Lori Harrigan (Las Vegas, NV) picked up the win and improves to 6-0 on the ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour after going five innings and allowing just one unearned run on five hits. Jennie Finch (La Mirada, CA) pitched the final two innings and allowed just one hit while striking out three.
The ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour rolls on as the USA Softball Women’s National Team travels to Charlotte, N.C. for a game on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. at Renaissance Complex.