Finch no-hits DePaul
FULLERTON, CA –Jennie Finch (La Mirada, CA) was spectacular in the circle tonight recording her third solo no-hitter of the ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour with an 8-0 five inning win over DePaul at the KIA Classic. Finch struckout 10 and walked one in the complete game effort to improve her record to 7-0 and her shutout inning streak to 41 2/3 innings. Overall Team USA has tallied five no hitters on the tour of which Finch has contributed in all five, three solo and two combined.
With the win the U.S. improves to 22-0 and pushes its pre-Olympic tour winning streak to 137 games dating back to May 3, 1996.
The U.S. jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning after getting just one hit but was aided by a couple of walks and a wild pitch.
Natasha Watley (Irvine, CA) reached on a throwing error by the DePaul pitcher and moved to second when the ball rolled into right field. Leah O’Brien-Amico (Chino Hills, CA) then walked and both runners scored on a stand up double by Lisa Fernandez (Long Beach, CA). After moving to second on a walk to Tairia Flowers (Tucson, AZ), Fernandez scored on a wild pitch.
Flowers pushed the lead to 5-0 with a two-run home run to right field that plated Giordano who was pinch-running for Fernandez who had walked to lead off the inning.
With the game nearing the run-rule mark, Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, CA) came to the plate with her 21-game hitting streak on the line. It looked as if DePaul would pitch around her running the count to 3-0 but pitch number four came too close to the plate and Bustos put it out of the park in left field. With the hit in the fifth inning, Bustos has now hit in 22-straight games on the tour.
Three consecutive walks to Fernandez, Flowers and Lovie Jung (Fountain Valley, CA) put the needed runners in scoring position for Kelly Kretschman (Indian Harbour Beach, FL) who came through with a single to right field that scored two and gave the U.S. the 8-0 win.
Kretschman, Flowers and Fernandez each posted two RBI in the game while Bustos was the only other U.S. player with an RBI.
The U.S. has outscored its tour opponents 209-8 while recording 44 home runs in 22 games.
The U.S. will continue action at the KIA Classic on Friday, when they play Louisiana Lafayette at 1 p.m.