Aug. 28, 2006
BEIJING, China - Team USA opened the 2006 XI ISF Women's World Championships with a commanding 6-1 victory over Italy to mark the Red, White & Blue's 13th consecutive triumph in World Championship competition. Former Texas hurler Cat Osterman worked a complete game two-hitter with 14 strikeouts while Jessica Mendoza led the offensive effort by going 3-for-4 with two RBI. Tennessee senior hurler Monica Abbott did not see action in the opening contest. The event is being contested at Fengtai Softball Field, the future site of the 2008 Olympic softball competition.
The Americans wasted no time in jumping in front of the Italian squad in the bottom of the first as a walk to Caitlin Lowe, a sacrifice bunt by Natasha Watley and an RBI single from Mendoza granted the Red, White & Blue a quick 1-0 advantage.
A pair of fielding errors by Italy's defense in the third bestowed Team USA runners at the corners with no one retired. Unfortunately for the Americans, Mendoza was gunned down attempting to swipe second for the initial out of the frame. With the speedy Watley standing just 60 feet from scoring, Crystl Bustos reached on a fielder's choice as Italy attempted to catch the runner napping at third. Power-hitting catcher Stacey Nuveman was walked intentionally to load the bases and set up the force situation at every base. The move didn't pay dividends, however, as Andrea Duran walked to plate the U.S. squad's second run of the contest. First baseman Jennie Finch stepped into the box and ripped a double to score another run, but on the play, Nuveman was cut down at the dish to close the scoring with the Americans up 3-0.
The U.S. took advantage of a pitching change by the Italians to plate two more tallies in the fourth on RBI singles from Mendoza and Bustos for a commanding 5-0 lead.
Italy finally got on the scoreboard with the help of some uncharacteristically sloppy defense from Team USA. A dropped throw at first by Finch and a throw from Watley that struck a runner's helmet near third before bouncing into left field permitted the Italians to cut the deficit to 5-1.
The U.S. would get the tally back in the bottom of the sixth as Duran drove in Mendoza via a single to set the final offensive count at 6-1.
Check into utladyvols.com for game recaps and statistics when available from Tennessee's participation with the various USA Softball programs.
|U.S. in the XI ISF Women's World Championships|
|Sunday, August 27||USA vs. Italy||U.S. 6-1|
|Monday, August 28||USA vs. DPR Korea||12:30 a.m.|
|Tuesday, August 29||USA vs. Canada||3 a.m.|
|Wednesday, August 30||USA vs. Great Britain||3 a.m.|
|Thursday, August 31||USA vs. New Zealand||(Wed. at 10:30 p.m.)|
|Friday, September 1||USA vs. China||7:30 a.m.|
|Saturday, September 2||USA vs. South Africa||3:30 a.m.|
|Sunday, September 3||Bracket Play||TBD|
|Monday, September 4||Bracket Play||TBD|
|Tuesday, September 5||Championship/Third-Place Game||TBD|