The USA Women’s National Team posted a 4-1 win over China to open play at the 2007 Japan Cup in Yokohama, Japan. The entire pitching staff saw time, with Jennie Finch earning the win in the circle.
The red, white and blue took the lead in the first inning when Caitlin Lowe scored off a wild pitch after drawing a walk to reach first. Finch started in the circle and pitched two complete innings, allowing two hits with no runs.
Stacey Nuveman started a three-run fourth inning when she drew the team’s third walk of the game. Kelly Kretschman singled to centerfield and stole second to get in scoring position. An RBI single by Andrea Duran plated Vicky Galindo, who served as pinch runner for Nuveman. Two more runs scored when Kretschman crossed the plate on an error by the Chinese catcher and Duran off a sac fly by Tairia Flowers, giving the United States a 4-0 lead.
China avoided a shutout in the fifth inning when leadoff batter Zhang Lifang hit a double off Lisa Fernandez, who came in the fifth inning after Cat Osterman threw two hitless innings with five strikeouts. LiFang scored off a double by Tan Ying to give China its only run of the game.
Alicia Hollowell and Monica Abbott tossed the sixth and seventh innings, respectively, allowing no runs to be scored.
The team combined for eight hits with Kretschman leading the way with a 2-for-3 plate performance that included a run scored.
Next up for the team is Australia tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. local time.