USA Softball shuts out DPR Korea
USA Softball shuts out DPR Korea 7-0
Beijing, China----The USA Softball Women’s National Team improved to 2-0 at the XI ISF Women’s World Championship with a 7-0 win over DPR Korea. The game was called in the fifth inning due to the international run rule. It was the first meeting between the two countries in their programs history.
DPR Korea entered the game with a 1-0 record after defeating South Africa 3-0 in its opening game but showed nerves early in its game against the USA and that proved to be the difference. Once again the top of the line-up got things going for the Red, White and Blue.
Caitlin Lowe (Tustin, Calif.) reached on a walk to lead off the game and moved to second when Natasha Watley (Anaheim, Calif.) singled to left field. A walk to Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.) loaded the bases for U.S. slugger Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, Calif.), who cleared the bases with a double to left center to give the U.S. an early 3-0 lead. A sacrifice fly by Jenny Topping (Whittier, Calif.) plated Bustos for the final run of the inning and a 4-0 advantage.
“It was great to see the team do so well”, said Bustos. “We have never played Korea but they were a good team. It was good to see the team doing better all around.”
The U.S. offense went into a lull in the next two innings producing only one base runner but turned things around in the fourth inning. With one out Vicky Galindo (Cypress, Calif.) was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a groundout by Laura Berg (Santa Fe Springs, Calif.). With the top of the lineup coming to the plate the USA proceeded to put together a two out rally that would net three more runs.
Lowe singled up the middle to move Galindo to third and advanced to second when the shortstop made an errant throw to third that allowed Galindo to score. A passed ball allowed Lowe to move to third and a single up the middle by Watley plated her for the second run of the inning. Mendoza moved Watley to second when she was hit by a pitch and Bustos came through once again with a single to right field to score the final run of the game.
Jennie Finch (La Mirada, Calif.), who gave birth to her first son less than four months ago, was dominate in the circle allowing only two hits while fanning seven in five innings of work.
“It was great to be out on the mound. To see the offense explode is always great to see,” said Finch. “We just have to take it one game at a time.”
Bustos was the offensive catalyst going 2-for-3 with a double and four RBI while Watley collected two hits and an RBI respectively.
“It was a very good game. It was very good to see Jennie have a good performance and Crystal really got it started for us”, said head coach Mike Candrea of his team’s perforamance. “We ended strong and we hope to get better everyday. That is what we want to do.”
The USA will face Canada, the bronze medalist at the II World Cup of Softball, on Tuesday, August 29 at 2 a.m. CT.