April 9, 2004
BRISTOL, Conn. - Arizona softball fans had to take the bad with the good March 26 when coach Mike Candrea and Team USA steamrolled into town for an exhibition game against the Wildcats. Former All-American pitcher Jennie Finch helped the Olympians thump the Cats, 6-1.
Finch struck out 13 and allowed only one hit -- albeit a home run by freshman Kristie Fox -- in five innings of pitching to lead the U.S. team to the victory, which was taped by ESPN for showing as part of its "Aiming for Athens" package.
ESPN will show the game at 10 a.m. (MST/PDT) Saturday, April 10. The game is the first of a series of USA games to be aired on ESPN leading up the Olympic Games, August 14-23 in Athens, Greece.
Games on the 25-game tour of universities -- all won by Team USA -- also will be shown by ESPN on April 27, June 8, 16, 17; July 4, 6, 9, 11, 18, 25; and August 1.
The loss, which doesn't count against its record, did not appear to daunt UA. The Cats resumed action two days later with a doubleheader sweep over UNLV, then won twice against No. 2 UCLA last week to improve to 38-1. The team plays at Arizona State today and tomorrow.