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Canada Cup: USA Gold, USA Blue Finish Division Play Undefeated

USA Gold and USA Blue both improved to 7-0 with shutout victories Thursday in the 1999 Canada Cup at Surrey, British Columbia. Both teams finished first in their respective divisions as the playoff rounds begin today.

Crystl Bustos hit her team-high fifth home run of the tournament and Danielle Henderson allowed four hits in six innings to lead USA Gold to a 5-0 victory over Team Canada #1.

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning when RBI-singles by Christie Ambrosi and Jennifer Brundage gave USA Gold a 2-0 lead. USA Gold added a run in the fifth on Bustos' solo home run and Laura Berg's two-run single in the sixth inning closed out the scoring.

Bustos went 3-for-3, while Ambrosi and Brundage added two hits apiece.

After giving up three hits in the first two innings, Henderson retired 13 consecutive batters before giving up a walk and a single to open the seventh inning. Lori Harrigan retired the next three batters to close out the game. Henderson finished with nine strikeouts.

NAIA National Finals MVP Kathy Iggulden (Simon Fraser University) was the starting pitcher for Team Canada.

Christa Williams allowed one hit in six innings and helped herself out with a two-run homer as USA Blue defeated the Phoenix Sunbirds 12-0. Lisa Carey, whose three-run homer capped a seven-run seventh inning.

Kim Maher doubled home Teri Klement in the top of the first to start the scoring for USA Blue. The score remained 1-0 until the fifth when Williams hit a two-out, two-run homer to extend the lead to 3-0. USA Blue added two runs in the sixth on Carey's two-run double.

USA Blue broke the game open in the seventh as Klement and Maher connected on bases-loaded singles and after another run scored on an error, Carey belted a three-run homer to close out the scoring.

Williams retired the first 10 batters before shortstop Chrissy Buck singled with one out in the fourth. Buck is a member of UCLA's NCAA national championship team. Williams struck out six and walked two. Courtney Blades retired the side in order in the seventh.

USA Gold, the No. 1 team from the "Red" Division, faces the Phoenix Sunbirds (No. 4-White Division) in the first round of the playoffs tonight at 8 p.m. (CDT). USA Blue, the No. 1 team from the "White" Division, takes on Team Texas (No. 4-Red) in its first-round match-up today at 4 p.m. Other first round games feature Japan (No. 2-Red) vs. China (No. 3-White) and Australia (No. 2-White) vs. Decatur Twisters (No. 3-Red).

The double-elimination playoffs continue through Sunday, with the championship game scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

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