Oklahoma City — The USA Softball Women’s National Team locked up a spot in the championship game of the 2007 KFC World Cup of Softball with a 7-0 run-rule victory over Canada on Saturday afternoon. This marks the third consecutive year the USA has advanced to the championship game at the World Cup of Softball. 

The USA scored all the runs it would need in the top of the first inning during a two-out rally. Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.) kept the inning alive with a single to right field before Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, Calif.) stepped to the plate and blasted a two-run home run to left field for a 2-0 lead. 

Another two-out rally coupled with another two-run homer propelled the USA into a 4-0 lead. Lauren Lappin (Anaheim, Calif.) reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and scored when Natasha Watley (Irvine, Calif.) homered to right field. 

Three runs in the sixth inning provided the USA with the necessary runs to end the game due to the international run rule. Caitlin Lowe (Tustin, Calif.) singled to right field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Watley. A walk to Tairia Flowers (Tucson, Ariz.) with the bases loaded plated the first run, and a single by Vicki Galindo (Union City, Calif.) scored the final two runs of the game. 

Jennie Finch (La Mirada, Calif.) collected her first win of the 2007 KFC World Cup after pitching six complete shutout innings. During her outing, she allowed only three hits and fanned eight. Robin Mackin suffered the loss for Canada, allowing four runs, five hits and six walks. 

The USA will face Japan for the championship Monday night at 8 p.m. CST. The rematch last year’s championship game will be aired on ESPN2. The U.S. defeated Japan 4-1 Saturday. 

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