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Cathi Aradi

USA Gold, USA Blue Remain Unbeaten at Canada Cup

USA Gold picked up a pair of five-inning victories, while USA Blue posted its fourth consecutive shutout Tuesday in day four of the 1999 Canada Cup.

In USA Gold's first game, Stacey Nuveman went 4-for-4 with two home runs and six runs batted in to power USA Gold to a 14-0 victory over Decatur Twister. Laura Berg added three hits and three RBI.

Nuveman gave USA Gold an early 2-0 lead with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning. USA Gold erupted for five runs in the second inning, highlighted by Berg's two-run single and Nuveman's RBI-double. Run-scoring singles by Nuveman and Julie Smith sparked a three-run third inning and Nuveman's second homer of the game - a two-run shot - highlighted a four-run fifth inning.

Lisa Fernandez tossed a one-hitter, allowing only a fourth-inning single. Fernandez recorded 12 strikeouts.

In USA Gold's second game of the day, Jennifer Brundage drove in four runs with a pair of home runs to spark the Americans to an 8-0 win over the Chinese Development Team.

After a throwing error led to a run in the third inning, USA Gold struck for three runs in the fourth as Brundage hit a solo home run and Dot Richardson added a two-run homer. In the fifth inning, Crystl Bustos hit a solo home run and Brundage hit her second home run of the game, a three-run homer to close out the scoring. Bustos leads USA Gold with four home runs in the tournament.

Michele Smith struck out 10 and allowed two hits in four innings of work. Lori Harrigan retired the side in order in the fifth. USA Gold improved to 5-0 in the tournament.

USA Blue also remained unbeaten, scoring all of its four runs in the first inning to defeat Illinois Hits 4-0. Sarah Dawson pitched a complete game two-hitter to extend USA Blue's shutout streak to 26 consecutive innings.

USA Blue gave Dawson all the runs she needed in the first inning as Nina Lindenberg and Kelly Kretschman connected on RBI-singles and Lisa Carey brought them both home with a two-run single. Carey went 3-for-4, while Lindenberg and Kretschman finished with two hits apiece.

Dawson recorded 11 strikeouts and allowed only four baserunners, two of whom were thrown out attempting to steal second by catcher Amber Burgess. USA Blue improves to 4-0. USA Blue and USA Gold are the only remaining undefeated teams in the tournament.

USA Blue plays two games today (Wednesday) as it faces the NJCAA Team in the morning and takes on Australia in the evening. USA Gold faces Team Texas this afternoon.

Fifteen teams are competing in this year's Canada Cup. The teams are divided into two divisions and pool play continues through Thursday. The top four teams from each division advance to double-elimination playoff rounds beginning Friday. The championship game is scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

For boxscores and a complete schedule of remaining games, visit the ASA Canada Cup Home Page athttp://www.softball.org/99CanadaCup/99CanadaCuphomepage.html.