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Canada Cup: USA Gold Defeats USA Blue 10-4 in Canada Cup Winner's Bracket

Dot Richardson's first career grand slam home run capped a six-run second inning as USA Gold erased an early three-run deficit and defeated USA Blue 10-4 Saturday in the winner's bracket final in the 1999 Canada Cup at Surrey, British Columbia. USA Gold remains undefeated in Canada Cup play, while USA Blue suffered its first loss of the tournament.

USA Blue struck for two runs in the top of the first on two-out back-to-back solo home runs by Teri Klement and Nina Lindenberg. USA Blue extended the lead to 3-0 on an RBI-single by Kelly Kretschman.

USA Gold answered in the bottom of the second, opening the inning with five consecutive singles to score two runs. After Leah O'Brien-Amico's single loaded the bases, Richardson cleared the bases with her grand slam homer over the right field fence to give USA Gold a 6-3 lead.

USA Gold put the game out of reach in the third inning as Christie Ambrosi hit a three-run homer to spark a four-run inning and extend USA Gold's lead to 10-3. USA Blue added a run in the fifth on Kim Maher's RBI-single.

Richardson went 3-for-3 with four runs batted in, while Ambrosi collected two hits and also drove in four runs. Crystl Bustos and Sheila Douty had two hits apiece for USA Gold.

Klement went 3-for-4 for USA Blue with a double and home run, while Kretschman added two hits. USA Blue left eight runners on base, leaving the bases loaded in the second and seventh innings.

Lori Harrigan pitched five-and-a-third innings in relief of starter Danielle Henderson. Harrigan struck out eight and allowed one run on five hits to pick up her first win of the Canada Cup. USA Blue starter Amanda Freed suffered her first loss of the tournament. Prior to Saturday night's game, USA Blue had allowed only four runs in nine games.

USA Gold and USA Blue join Australia and Japan as the four remaining teams in the 15-team tournament. USA Gold advances to the championship game today at 5:30 p.m. (CDT). USA Blue plays in the loser's bracket final today at 3 p.m. against the winner of Australia vs. Japan.

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.

For live play-by-play coverage of the loser's bracket final and the championship game, go tohttp://www.softball.org/usalive/-live.htm.