Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Double Dip for USA Softball
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: August 17, 2008
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Related Links

Aug. 17, 2008

USA vs. China

BEIJING -- Team USA scored an Olympic record-tying nine runs in the first inning, and limited host China to one hit as they concluded round-robin play with a perfect record in a 9-0 victory in five innings on Monday.

With the victory that upped their Olympic record to 7-0, the U.S. clinched the top seed in the medal round, which begins Wednesday in Beijing (Tuesday evening in Tucson). Team USA has also won 21 straight Olympic matches.

With two games remaining, the U.S. has already surpassed the total number of runs scored in 2004. 51-1 was the runs scored/allowed margin in Athens; it is already at 53-1 in these games, with the only opposing run coming unearned.

Seven Americans tallied a hit off of Chinese pitching, with Kelly Kretschman and Andrea Duran scattering two each. The U.S. ended the game with nine total.

Cat Osterman (3-0) and Jennie Finch combined for a near perfect outing, with the former allowing only one hit and a walk in three innings, and the latter shutting down the six batters she faced in two innings pitched. Both threw three whiff balls combining for six total K's.

Kretschman hit a two-out, three-run home run to start the scoring for the U.S. Duran doubled and was brought home by a single from Stacey Nuveman. Lovieanne Jung walked, and Tairia Flowers cleared the bases with a double off the right field wall. Then, in Natasha Watley's second at-bat of the inning, she singled to bring home the Tucson native Flowers.

After a Caitlin Lowe single, Jessica Mendoza cleared the bases with another single that was mishandled by the left fielder, allowing her to reach third. Kretschman grounded out to end the first inning with the vast margin.

UA alums Jung and Lowe finished 0-1 with a walk and 1-2, respectively. Both scored a run, and Lowe was pinch-hit for by Laura Berg in the third inning.

Up Next: The medal round begins Wednesday, and the U.S. will take on No. 2 seeded Japan at 9 p.m. Tuesday evening (Tucson time) on CNBC to advance to the gold medal game.

USA vs. Netherlands

BEIJING -- A perfect game from Monica Abbott and 13 hits off of American bats propelled the U.S. to an 8-0 five-inning run-ruling of the Netherlands on Sunday evening in the capital city.

Team USA needed only 70 minutes to run-rule their fourth opponent of these Olympic games. Monica Abbott (2-0) has only allowed one hit in three appearances. She tallied nine strikeouts through five innings.

The United States scored in every inning and Crystl Bustos, Jessica Mendoza and Tucson native Tairia Flowers each homered as they extended their Olympic winning streak to 20 games while upping their record to 6-0 at these games.

In these Olympics, they have outscored the competition 44-1, much like four years ago when they allowed only one run while posting 51.

Bustos got things started in the first when she singled in former Wildcat Caitlin Lowe from second. An inning later, Flowers went yard followed by an RBI single courtesy of Natasha Watley to extend the score to 3-0 after two.

In the third, Crystal Bustos had her 12th career Olympic smash, and Lovieanne Jung and Laura Berg each had RBI singles to make it 6-0.

The U.S. made it 7-0 in their final at-bats when Jessica Mendoza hit a moon shot, followed by a Vicky Galindo RBI single.

Abbott struck out the side in the fifth to preserve the perfect game.

Lowe finished the game 0-3 with two fielder's choices and a run scored. Jung went 1-2 with an RBI.

Up Next: Team USA will take on the host nation China at 9 p.m. Sunday night (Tucson time). A sellout crowd of 10,000 is expected at Fengtai Softball Field. Check your local listings for television coverage in your area.