Oklahoma City---For the second consecutive night the USA Softball Women’s National Team posted a run-rule victory at the KFC World Cup of Softball. Tonight China was on the losing end of a five-inning run rule victory by the USA, which scored eight runs in the first two innings for the 8-0 win.
Natasha Watley (Irvine, Calif.) got things going for the Red, White and Blue in the bottom of the first inning with a single to left field and stole second base. Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.) followed with a single to right field but the speedy Watley was held at third base with Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, Calif.) waiting on deck. China decided to intentionally walk Bustos to load the bases and take their chances with Tairia Flowers (Tucson, Ariz.), who has been the hottest hitter in the USA line-up this season.
For the second consecutive night, Flowers made the opponent pay after intentionally walking Bustos to get to her. With a 3-2 count, Flowers blasted a home run to register her first grand slam of her National Team career.
The USA put the game out of reach in the bottom of the second, scoring four more runs off four hits to take an 8-0 lead. Watley had an RBI single that scored Lovie Jung (Fountain Valley, Calif.) who started the rally with a single to center field. Caitlin Lowe (Tustin, Calif.) scored when Kelly Kretschman (Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.) reached on an error with the bases loaded.
Flowers earned her fifth RBI of the game when she walked with the bases loaded to push the lead to 7-0. Andrea Duran (Salem, Calif.) drove in the final run of the game with a single to left field that plated Bustos who walked for the second time in the game.
USA’s Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas) earned her first win of the 2007 KFC World Cup, allowing just one hit while walking one and striking out nine. 19-year old Zhou Yin suffered the loss for China.
The USA will play in two games on Saturday with a 12 p.m. game against the Dominican Republic before returning for a much anticipated match-up with Japan at 7 p.m. China will face Canada in the nightcap on Saturday at 9:30 p.m.
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