OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - A 10-run rally in the top of the first led paved the way for the third run rule victory for the U.S. Women’s National Softball team at the II World Cup of Softball presented by Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. With 14 runs on 16 hits, the USA improved to 3-0 and secured a spot in the championship game on Monday at 8:00 p.m.
Caitlin Lowe started off the rally for the USA with a single up the middle, and scored on a single to left field by Crystl Bustos. Jenny Topping singled down the right field line, Tairia Flowers singled to right field to drive in a run and Laura Berg ripped a double to right field that scored two more runs to push the U.S. lead to 6-0.
As Lowe stepped to the plate for the second time in the inning, she picked up her second single up the middle and was followed by Natasha Watley who smashed a triple to left center, scoring two runs. Topping hit another single, posting the eighth hit for the USA in the inning. China faced two substitutions in the pitching circle as the USA hit through the entire lineup with eight hits and forced two errors from the China defense.
The runs for the USA did not stop there, however, as Lovie Jung started off the top of the fifth with a double down the left field line and scored off of Vicky Galindo’s single to right field. Jessica Mendoza singled to right center and Topping singled to center field, to bring Bustos to the plate. Bustos smashed the first pitch over the center field fence, scoring three to push the lead to 14-0.
USA starter Monica Abbott held the China offense in check in the first three innings allowing only one hit and striking out four before being relieved in the fourth by Jennie Finch. Finch also held the China offense to only one hit and struck out two.
Team USA (4-0) will face rival Japan (4-0) tomorrow, July 16 at 12:00 p.m. as their battle continues to claim the World Cup Title, with both teams undefeated. Be sure to check out www.usasoftball.com for complete coverage of the World Cup.