Kretschman leads US to winKretschman leads U.S. to win with two home runs
FULLERTON, CA –The USA Softball Women’s National Team used its power game tonight to get past #8 Louisiana-Lafayette, 3-0, in its final game of the 2004 KIA Classic. Three solo home runs provided all the run support the U.S. would need to get past the feisty Ragin’ Cajuns.
Cat Osterman (Houston, TX) was dominant tonight only allowing two balls to leave the infield while fanning 13 of the 17 batters she faced. The first six outs of the game were recorded via strikeout.
Lafayette’s Brooke Mitchell kept the powerful U.S. hitters off balance and allowed only two hits through the first three innings. The U.S. looked as if it would break open the game in the second with bases loaded and only one out but Mitchell enticed Laura Berg (Santa Fe Springs, CA) to foul out and struck out Natasha Watley (Irvine, CA) looking to leave the bases full.
Kelly Kretschman (Indian Harbour Beach, FL) broke up the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning with a lead off home run to left field but that was the only run the U.S. could muster in the inning.
Kretschman and Tairia Mims Flowers (Tucson, AZ) added insurance runs in the sixth inning with solo shots to push the lead to 3-0.
Lisa Fernandez (Long Beach, CA) picked up her first save of the tour after working two dominant innings that saw her strikeout four of the six batters she faced. Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, CA) extended her hit streak to 23-games after collecting a single in the first inning. She continues to lead the offensive statistics for the U.S. with a .569 batting average with 10 doubles, a triple, 13 home runs and 44 RBI in 23 games.
With the win the U.S. improves to 23-0 and pushes its pre-Olympic tour winning streak to 138 games dating back to May 3, 1996.
On the 2004 ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour the USA has outscored opponents 212-8 and has crushed 47 home runs in just 23 games.
After taking a few days off to rest, the U.S. returns to action next week for its biggest challenge of the year when it takes on #1 Arizona on Friday, March 26, in Tucson, AZ and #2 UCLA in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, March 28.