USA improves to 27 and 0USA improves to 27-0
Ridgeland, MS---The Mississippi All-Stars stayed with the USA Softball Women’s National Team tonight for five innings before the U.S. pulled away in the sixth for a 7-0 victory. With the win, the U.S. improves to 27-0 on the ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour and extends its pre-Olympic tour win streak to 139 games dating back to May 3, 1996.
Lisa Fernandez (Long Beach, CA) and Lori Harrigan (Las Vegas, NV) kept the All-Stars in check combining for a complete game no-hitter while collecting a total of 18 strikeouts. The U.S. has now tossed back-to-back no-hitters and has thrown a total of seven on the 2004 tour.
A lead-off double by Natasha Watley (Irvine, CA) in the first inning got the U.S. offense sparked early. A sacrifice by Leah O’Brien-Amico (Chino Hills, CA) moved Watley to third and an errant throw by the third baseman on a Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, CA) infield single allowed Watley to score.
In the fourth Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, CA) led off with a bunt single, advanced to third on a pinch-hit double by Amanda Freed (Cypress, CA) and scored on a sacrifice fly by Bustos for a 2-0 lead.
Former Mississippi State pitching standout Kasey Whitehead was lifted from the game after four complete innings for the All-Stars where she allowed only two runs despite allowing nine hits. Duana Meseyton pitched the fifth without allowing a run before being relieved by Delta State’s Jenna Smart.
In the bottom of the sixth the U.S. picked up five insurance runs on five hits that included RBI singles by Bustos and Mendoza and a two run home run by Jenny Topping (Whittier, CA).
Bustos continues to be the catalyst at the plate for the Red, White and Blue going 3-for-3 with two RBI in the game. For the tour Bustos is hitting a whopping .560 with 11 doubles, 13 home runs and 50 RBI. Watley, Mendoza, Freed, and Kelly Kretschman (Indian Harbour Beach, FL) also had two hits in the game.
The ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour rolls on and the U.S. team will be in Springfield, MO on Saturday, May 22 where it will be playing at Meador Softball Complex at 2 p.m.