Osterman and Finch combine for perfect game
San Antonio, TX---The USA Softball Women’s National Team kicked off the grassroots portion of its ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour right where it left off in March at the conclusion of the college tour, pounding opposing pitching and stifling opposing batters. The U.S. offense scored 10 runs and the pitching duo of Cat Osterman (Houston, TX) and Jennie Finch (La Mirada, CA) were perfect to give the Red, White and Blue a 10-0 win over the Sonic Stars.
The Stars, consisting of current and former collegiate players, were overmatched by the powerful U.S. pitchers and were fanned 13 of the 15 times they came to bat.
After being shutout the first two innings, the U.S. used its short game to cause havoc and push its first run across. Laura Berg (Santa Fe Springs, CA) led off with a bunt single and was followed by a bunt single by Natasha Watley (Irvine, CA) and a sacrifice bunt by Leah O’Brien-Amico (Chino Hills, CA) that was overthrown by the catcher to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead.
A groundout by Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, CA) plated the second run of the game and moved O’Brien-Amico to third, which later scored on a wild pitch. Stacey Nuveman (La Verne, CA) kept the rally alive with a single through the left side. Nicole Giordano (Saugus, CA) entered to pinch run and scored after back-to-back singles by Lisa Fernandez (Long Beach, CA) and Lovie Jung (Westminster, CA). Fernandez also scored on the Jung single when the centerfielder made an errant throw to third allowing Fernandez to scamper home.
The lead was extended to 8-0 in the fourth after RBI singles by Bustos, Jenny Topping (Whittier, CA) and Jung. In the fifth, the U.S. used a two-out rally to close out the game in five innings. Watley singled through the left side, stole second and scored on a ground-rule double by Tairia Mims Flowers (Tucson, AZ). Bustos collected her third RBI of the game with a single through the left side to plate Flowers and end the game due to the international mercy rule.
Osterman improved to 8-0 after pitching three perfect innings and fanning 7 of the 9 batters she faced, while Finch struck out the side in the final two innings of work. Jung, Bustos and Watley each collected two hits in the game, while Bustos drove in a team leading three RBI.
The U.S. will workout in San Antonio on Tuesday before traveling to Ridgeland, MS on Wednesday for a Thursday night game.