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USA Takes Gold Medal At Rain Shortened Pan Am Qualifier

Maracay, Venezuela -- After days and days of rain in Maracay, Venezuela, the rain finally took control of the 2001 Pan Am Qualifier in Maracay, Venezuela. The local organizing committee made a decision to call the final two games of the tournament and award the USA the gold medal at 10 p.m. Sunday. Canada was awarded silver and Cuba the bronze.

With the championship, the USA qualifies as the No. 1 seed at the 2003 Pan Am Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and also qualifies for the 2002 World Championships in Saskatoon, Canada.

The USA (9-0 in tourament play) is the undisputed champion of the tournament. In nine games, the USA remained as the only team to not allow a run in the championship. Mexico was the only country to even advance a runner to third and that happened only once. The USA dominated the tournament in every category possible. At the plate, the USA out hit its opponents 87-7 and posted a .375 batting average compared to .040 for its opponents.. The USA also outscored its opponents 74-0.

Jaime Clark (Tustin, CA) led all hitters in the tournament with a .483 batting average and 19 RBI. She had 14 hits with three doubles, two triples and three home runs. Four other USA players posted batting averages over .400. They were Toria Auelua (Garden Grove, CA) .467, Nina Lindenberg (Anaheim Hills, CA) .458, Lauren Bauer (Santa Ana, CA) .452 and Jenny Topping (Whittier, CA) .409.

Clark and Bauer were both named to the All-Tournament team for the 2001 Pan AM Qualifier. The USA coaching staff consisting of Ken Eriksen, Mike Candrea and Michelle Gromacki was named as the Most Outstanding Coaching Staff of the Tournament.

In nine games, USA pitchers gave up no earned runs, threw four no-hitters (including three perfect games) and allowed only seven hits.

Jennie Finch (La Mirada, CA) tossed a perfect game versus Guatemala in the opening game of the championship. Britni Sneed (Houston, TX) threw her perfect game versus Colombia and followed that up with a no-hitter versus Canada. Jennifer Sharron (Agoura Hills, CA) also had a perfect game performance versus Brazil.

The USA Softball National Teams have now completed their 2001 schedule but will be back in camp in September to select a core group of athletes for the 2002 World Championships and the 2002 South Pacific Classic.

Go to USA Softball's Pan Am Qualifier page for boxscores, game summaries, schedules and players' journals.