Aug. 28, 2006
BEIJING, China - The winning skein for Team USA in World Championship play grew to 14 straight as the Red, White & Blue defeated DPR Korea, 7-0 (5 inn.), on Monday at the Fengtai Softball Field in Beijing, China, to improve to 2-0 at the '06 event. U.S. pitcher Jennie Finch hurled a two-hit shutout with seven strikeouts while designated player Crystl Bustos delivered a 2-for-3, four RBI performance and shortstop Natasha Watley a 2-for-3, two-run scored effort to guide the U.S. offense.
After Finch rolled through the Korean line-up one-two-three in the top of the first, Team USA struck for four runs on just two hits and an error. Team Korea hurler Song Chun Kim led off the bottom of the initial frame by walking speedy right fielder Caitlin Lowe on four consecutive pitches. Watley came through with a base knock, and left fielder Jessica Mendoza coerced a base-on-balls to load the bases with none retired. Bustos stepped into the box and exhibited the power she's known for by roping a three-RBI double to clear the bags and grant the Red, White & Blue a 3-0 advantage. Following a fly out by catcher Stacey Nuveman and a Korean fielding error that permitted third baseman Andrea Duran to reach safely, first baseman Jenny Topping delivered a sacrifice fly to center allowing Bustos to cross with the fourth run of the inning.
After having the side struck out in order in the top of the second, Korea finally got an attack started in the third as right fielder Song Ok Choe led off the inning with a base hit. With two retired in the frame, catcher Un Ju Kim singled but was caught trying to advance to second on the play to end the brief threat.
Team USA got a two-out assault going in the bottom of the fourth against hurler Sun Kang to stretch the game to 7-0 as three runs crossed on two hits and a crucial throwing miscue. With one retired second baseman Vicki Galindo was struck by a pitch to grant the Red, White & Blue a base runner. Following a groundout by center fielder Laura Berg, Lowe reached on a fielder's choice gone awry as shortstop Hyon Ok Pak threw the sphere away allowing Galindo to cross for a 5-0 lead. The existing miscue and a passed ball permitted the runner to advance all the way to third. Watley came through with an RBI single to plate Lowe with Team USA's sixth tally. Mendoza became the second batter in the frame to be struck by a pitch granting the Americans runners at first and second as Bustos dug into the batter's box. She came through again with an RBI single to score Watley and close out the scoring.
Finch mowed down the Korean line-up in order in the top of the fifth to invoke the run-rule and improve Team USA's record in the preliminary rounds to 2-0.
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||U.S. 7-0 (5)|
|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|
|Monday, September 4||Bracket Play|
|Tuesday, September 5||Championship/Third-Place Game|
*All Times Eastern
Beijing, China, is 12 hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone