CHULA VISTA, Calif.---USA Softball used another explosive day at the plate to record its third consecutive run rule victory over Australia winning 9-0 in the Grand Final of the International Sports Invitational. Three different U.S. players hit home runs in the game.
“These players are here for a reason,” said head coach Mike Candrea. “They are true competitors. Many of them were in the arena in Athens and know what it takes. They love a challenge and are a very special group of athletes. This was a great tournament with strong competitors and a nice way to start the summer.”
The U.S. sent an early message posting three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.) continued to display her power launching a solo home run to right center. It was her third home run in the last four games. Following a walk to Kelly Kretschman (Indian Harbour Beach, Calif.), Jenny Topping (Whittier, Calif.) hit her second home run of the tournament to give the USA an early 3-0 advantage.
Vicky Galindo (Union City, Calif.) led off the bottom of the second with a single up the middle, moved to second on a sacrifice and scored on a single by Mendoza for a 4-0 lead.
After being shutout in the next two innings, Tairia Flowers (Tucson, Ariz.) broke open the game with a two-run home run to centerfield to increase the lead to 6-0.
With one swing of the bat Amanda Freed (Cypress, Calif.) ended the game with a three run walk off home run to deep left field to give the U.S. a 9-0 run rule victory.
Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas) picked up the win allowing only one hit while striking out 10 in five innings of work. Including her games this past season at the University of Texas; Osterman has now recorded 10 strikeouts in 34 consecutive starts.
Galindo finished the tournament going 8-for-9 (.889) with two doubles, three walks and a .917 on base percentage. Three U.S. players had multiple home runs during the week including Mendoza who led the team with three. Flowers and Topping each had two home runs while Topping led the team with eight RBI.
”Every at bat I went up there taking it one at bat at a time,” said Galindo. “I wasn’t really thinking about anything but making contact and getting on base.”
With its nine home runs in five games, the USA matched its total from Athens in 2004. Of the five players that contributed home runs in the event, none hit a home run in Athens.
Australia advances to Grand Final with 7-2 win over Canada
Australia battled its way into the Grand Final of the International Sports Invitational with a 7-2 win over Canada in the bronze medal game. With the win the Aussies earn a rematch with the USA who has posted two run-rule victories over Australia already in the event. Canada finishes third with a 1-4 record.
Amanda Doman came through in the clutch with a triple in the bottom of the first inning that scored two runs to put Australia on the board early.
Canada cut the lead in half with a run in the top of the third when Sheena Lawrick singled to right to score Melanie Matthews who had reached on an error.
Three runs in the fourth inning pushed the Australian lead to 5-1. Doman scored on a single by Danica Howlett and Fiona Crawford laced a triple to score the final two of the inning.
Stacey Porter delivered her fourth home run of the tournament in the bottom of the fifth to drive in the final two runs of the game. Canada added a run in the sixth but could not muster enough for the come back.
Australia’s ace Catherine Bishop improved to 3-1 after allowing one unearned run on four hits. Canada’s Auburn Sigurdson picked up the loss after allowing five runs in four innings of work.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 88 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 240,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit www.asasoftball.com.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of the only two women’s ¬sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won seven World Championship titles including the last five consecutive.
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