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USA Gold, USA Blue Both Improve to 6-0

USA Gold posted its sixth consecutive victory, while USA Blue won both of its games Wednesday and also improved to 6-0 in the 1999 Canada Cup at Surrey, British Columbia.

Amanda Scott and Lisa Fernandez combined on a five-hitter and USA Gold capitalized on three errors to defeat Team Texas 4-0. Scott recorded back-to-back strikeouts to get out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning. After giving up three singles in the first inning, Scott held Team Texas to two hits over the next four-and-a-third innings. Fernandez retired the final five batters for the save.

USA Gold used two walks and a throwing error to score an unearned run in the third inning and break a scoreless tie. Sheila Douty's RBI-double sparked a three-run fifth inning to give USA Gold some breathing room.

Team Texas pitcher Becky Lemke (Univ. of Arizona) held USA Gold to three hits and did not allow any earned runs. Jaime Foutch (Oklahoma State Univ.) went 3-for-3 for Team Texas, which also featured Kim DePaul and Becky Newbry of NCAA national runner-up Washington, and US Junior National Team member Kellie Wilkerson.

In USA Blue's first game of the day, home runs by Kelly Kretschman and Michelle Venturella sparked a seven-run third inning to break open a close game and lead USA Blue to a 9-1 victory over the NJCAA All-Stars.

Amanda Freed pitched a two-hitter and retired 11 of the last 12 batters she faced to improve to 2-0 in the tournament. NJCAA All-Stars scored a run in the top of the first, the first run allowed by USA Blue in the Canada Cup after 26 consecutive shutout innings.

USA Blue took the lead for good in the bottom of the first on Teri Klement's two-run homer. USA Blue broke the game open in the third inning as Kretschman hit a three-run homer and Venturella added a solo home run. Freed helped her own cause with a two-run single and Nina Lindenberg singled home the final run for USA Blue, which sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning.

In the nightcap, USA Blue was in danger of suffering its first loss of this year's Canada Cup, but Kim Maher's pinch-hit two-run homer with one out in the bottom of the seventh lifted USA Blue to a dramatic 4-3 victory over Australia.

After Australia scored a run in the top of the first, Teri Klement tied the game with a solo home run in the bottom of the inning for her second home run in as many games, both in the first inning. Australia regained the lead in the top of the second on a solo home run by Natalie Titcume, the first home run allowed by USA Blue.

USA Blue tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on Dani Tyler's RBI-single, USA Blue's fourth hit of the inning. But Australia regained the lead in the top of the fifth asTitcume's second home run of the game put Australia ahead 3-2.

Tyler walked to lead off the bottom of the seventh and pinch-runner Amanda Freed advanced to second on a sacrifice. Maher, pinch-hitting for leadoff batter Becky Witt, belted a 2-2 pitch off of Tanya Harding over the center field fence to give USA Blue the victory.

Sarah Dawson pitched five innings in relief of starter Courtney Blades for her second victory of the tournament. Dawson retired the final seven batters she faced.

Both teams conclude division play tonight as USA Gold faces Team Canada #1 and USA Blue takes on Phoenix Sunbirds. Both USA Gold and USA Blue have clinched berths in the playoff rounds and are both virtually assured of finishing first in their respective divisions.

Fifteen teams are competing in this year's Canada Cup. The teams are divided into two divisions and pool play continues through today (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 at