Despite two appearances yesterday, Finch was able to accomplish what her fellow pitchers had not been able tonamely, pitch the first complete game of the World Cup of Softball. The effort came with six strike outs in six innings of work.
I tried to be specific with each pitch and make each pitch count, Finch described. I felt more comfortable as the game went on.
Part of the reason for her increased comfort level is the extra time shes had to work herself into dominant form after giving birth to her first child.
Last year I didnt have any time to prepare; I came back right after having Ace, Finch said. After you have babies your bones and muscles expand.
What was the remedy? The same work ethic that drove her success at Arizona. I spent a long year of hard work in the weight room. Just to have time to let everything get back to normal a lot of hard work has made a difference, commented Finch.
Hard work has also made a difference with Crystl Bustos. Teams have continually tried to throw her up and in, but she has responded with timely adjustments.
She launched a two-run home run to centerfield in the bottom of the first, providing all the offense the United States would need. When asked about her at-bat, Bustos explained, I caught it a little more inside than I wanted it. But I have the strength sometimes to muscle it out.
If Bustos continues to muscle it out, the U.S. should skate to a back-to-back World Cup win and poised for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Canada knocks off Dominican Republic in World Cup opener
In the nightcap at the KFC World Cup of Softball, Canada knocked off the Dominican Republic, 3-0, to win its third consecutive opener at a World Cup. The teams were evenly matched offensively but a key extra base hit by Sheena Lawrick in the top of the fifth inning proved to be the difference in the game.
Canada put up two hits, one in the first and one in the fourth, but would not score until the fifth inning. With runners on first and third, Sheena Lawrick came through in the clutch with a two-RBI triple down the right field line that scored Jenn Salling and pinch-runner Janiva Willis. Lawrick scored the final run of the game off a single by Alison Bradley.
The Dominican Republican posted four hits in the loss but never got a runner past second base and ended up stranding five.
Canada’s Dione Meier picked up the win in the circle allowing just four hits in the shutout victory. Dominican starter Missy Penna, who will be a junior at Stanford next season, took the loss after allowing three runs off five hits and walking five.
Canada returns to action on Friday with a double-header starting with Japan at 11:30 a.m. before facing off with Venezuela at 2 p.m. The Dominican Republic is scheduled to play in the nightcap at 9:30 p.m. against Venezuela.
Japan topples Dominican Republic in opener at KFC World Cup
After having their opener pushed back over four hours due to thunderstorms in the Oklahoma City area, Japan was impressive posting an 8-0 win over the Dominican Republic.
Japan jumped out to a commanding 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning that was highlighted by an inside the park home run by Megu Hirose that plated three runs.
After a run in the third inning, Japan scored two runs in the top of the fourth inning to take an 8-0 lead.
Mika Someya earned the win in the circle for Japan allowing just three hits in five innings of work. It was her first career World Cup win.
Cristina Gwyn suffered the loss allowing eight runs on 11 hits while also walking four in five innings of work.
Japan opens day two of the World Cup at 11:30 a.m. CST versus Canada, while the Dominican faces off with Venezuela at 9:30 p.m. CST.
China Wins Behind Qi’s Arm
China won the first game of their KFC World Cup of Softball campaign thanks to a gem thrown by pitcher Li Qi tonight in Oklahoma City.
Qi, a 2004 Olympian, struck out nine batters en route to a one-hit complete game shutout over Venezuela, 4-0. Mariangee Bogado (0-2) gained the loss for Venezuela, after earning her first loss of the tournament earlier in the night against the U.S.
Qi was supported by a strong sixth-inning showing from her offense. Li Chun Xia hit a bases loaded single, scoring two runs, to deep centerfield to give the team a 2-0 lead. Zhang Li Fang singled to shallow center to bring in one more. The final run of the game scored off a wild pitch by Marianella Castellanos.
Venezuela (0-2) plays Friday at 2 p.m. vs. Canada (1-0). China (1-0) plays against the USA National Team (1-0) at 7 p.m.