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USA Softball Captures Gold at 2001 U.S. Cup; China Settles For Silver

Honolulu, HI -- Catherine Osterman (Houston, TX) had another dominant outing inside the pitching circle as the USA Softball defeated China 4-0 Sunday night to win the 2001 U.S. Cup. Team USA concludes the tournament as the only unbeaten team at 4-0. China finishes at 2-2.

Osterman threw a complete game one-hitter with one walk and nine strikeouts. It was Osterman's second complete game shutout of the tournament, as she finished the event with a 2-0 record and combined numbers of four hits allowed, two walks and 22 strikeouts.

A four-run second, where the USA Softball offense exploited a porous China defense, put the game away early. Singles from Amanda Freed (Cypress, CA) and Toni Mascarenas (Garden Grove, CA), wrapped around a walk to Lizzy Lemire (Irvine, CA), loaded the bases right out of the chute. An error on a high throw to the plate on a ball hit by Lovieanne Jung (Westminster, CA) allowed Freed to score, and kept the bases loaded for the U.S. Another China error, this one a grounder right under the glove of the first baseman, allowed both Lemire and Mascarenas to score, pushing the lead to 3-0. An RBI-single to right field from Nicole Giordano (Saugus, CA) plated Jung, closing out the scoring. Natasha Watley (Irvine, CA) and Tairia Mims (Tucson, AZ), who doubled in the third, had the other hits for the U.S.

China's best bet at scoring came in the fourth, when Lin Li dropped down a bunt single and moved to second on an ensuing sacrifice bunt. But the next batter, Ou Jingbai, hit a sharp grounder to Mascarenas at third, who started a rundown that trapped and caught Li, and also netted Jingbai, who had attempted to sneak into second during the rundown.

The only other player to reach base for China was Tao Huai, who drew a two-out walk in the top of the second inning. Zhang Lixia pitched a complete game for China, scattering five hits, two walks and five strikeouts. None of the four runs Lixia gave up were earned.