Sept. 1, 2006
BEIJING, China - In front of a huge crowd of more than 10,000 fans at the Fengtai Softball Field in Beijing, China, on Friday, the U.S. National Team secured the top position in Pool A and improved to a perfect 6-0 overall with a 2-0 victory over homestanding China at the XI ISF World Championship. Team USA pitcher Cat Osterman hurled a complete-game two-hit shutout with nine strikeouts, while third baseman Andrea Duran led the way offensively with a 2-for-3 effort and an RBI. Tennessee's Monica Abbott did not pitch on Friday after working a three-hit shutout on Thursday in a 15-0 (4) win over New Zealand.
Speedy right fielder Caitlin Lowe got the Red, White & Blue started immediately in the top of the first by singling back to the pitching circle. With one retired in the frame, left fielder Jessica Mendoza walked to grant the Americans a pair of base runners. A groundout to shortstop by designated player Crystl Bustos advanced the duo up 60 feet into scoring position with Stacey Nuveman waiting at the dish. During the U.S. catcher's at-bat Chinese pitcher Li Qi uncorked a wild pitch that broke the glass behind home plate resulting in a 30 minute delay. Lowe raced home on the play for a 1-0 lead for Team USA.
Osterman permitted a lead-off single in the first and a triple to open the bottom of the second. The former Texas All-American retired the next three in order in each frame to keep the Chinese squad off the scoreboard.
Qi maintained the one-run deficit for China into the top of the sixth when the U.S. added another tally to its total. Mendoza struck again with a single to right and advanced to third as Nuveman reached on an error by Chinese third baseman Shao Jing. With two runners in scoring position, China made a call to the bullpen for reliever Lu Wei. Duran greeted her immediately with an RBI single to plate Mendoza for a 2-0 advantage.
With a slim lead and the normally prolific U.S. offense struggling to score runs, Osterman settled in to retire the last seven Chinese hitters she faced in the contest to close out the victory. China did manage to advance a runner to third with two retired in the fifth, but Osterman K'ed Yu Huili to end the threat with no damage. Team USA's opposition went down one-two-three in both the sixth and seventh innings.
Check into utladyvols.com for game recaps and statistics when available from Tennessee's participation with the various USA Softball programs. USA Softball's game story contributed to the information contained in this release. Visit www.usasoftball.org for more information on the XI ISF Women's World Championship.
|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||U.S. 4-0|
|Wednesday, August 30||USA vs. Great Britain||U.S. 7-0 (5)|
|Thursday, August 31||USA vs. New Zealand||U.S. 15-0 (4) - Abbott three-hit shutout|
|Friday, September 1||USA vs. China||U.S. 2-0|
|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