USA Softball

Apr 24 USA Softball downs Italy

April 24, 2004, 9:45 a.m. (ET)
USA Softball downs Italy
 
Tierrenia, Italy---the USA Softball Women's National Team used an
explosive first inning to cruise to a 7-0 victory over Olympic qualifier Italy in
game one of a three game series. The U.S. offense posted all seven runs in
the first inning on six hits.
 
Natasha Watley (Irvine, CA) walked to open the inning, stole second and 
moved to third on an infield single by Leah O'Brien-Amico (Chino Hills,
CA). A single up the middle by Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, CA) plated
Watley for the first run of the game. Following a fielder's choice by Lisa 
Fernandez (Long Beach, CA) and a walk to Jenny Topping (Whittier, CA),
Lovie Jung (Fountain Valley, CA) singled down the left field line for two 
additional runs.
 
A double by Kelly Kretschman (Indian Harbour Beach, FL) kept the rally
going and recorded two RBI to clear the bases. Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, 
CA) scored Kretschman with a single to left field and moved into scoring 
position when the leftfielder bobbled the ball. Laura Berg (Santa Fe 
Springs, CA) drove in Mendoza with a single up the middle for the final
run of the inning.
 
Jennie Finch (La Mirada, CA) and Cat Osterman (Houston, TX) combined to 
shutout the Italian National Team and give the U.S. a 1-0 lead in the 
series. Finch allowed only one hit in four innings while striking out
eight.
 
Osterman allowed one hit and struckout out two in one inning of relief.
The game was called in the fifth inning due to the local mercy rule.
Bustos, Jung and Kretschman each had two hits in the game while Jung 
and Kretschman each collected two RBI.
 
The U.S. continues competition on Saturday at 3 p.m. versus the Italian 
National Team and will conclude the series on Sunday at 10 a.m.
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