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Cathi Aradi

USA Women Undefeated at Pan Am Games

Pan Am Games: USA Women Finish Pool Play Undefeated. Michele Smith pitched a one-hitter and every starter had at least one hit as USA defeated Cuba 6-0 in the final game of pool play in the Pan American Games.

USA finishes pool play with a 10-0 record and is the No. 1 seed heading into Friday's playoffs. USA has won the gold medal at the last three Pan Am Games competitions and has won 40 consecutive games, dating back to 1987.

Crystl Bustos doubled home Laura Berg in the top of the first inning to give USA an early 1-0 lead. In the fifth inning, Bustos singled home Dot Richardson for her second RBI of the game. Lisa Fernandez reached on a fielding error and eventually scored on a throwing error to extend USAÕs lead to 3-0. USA broke the game open in the top of the seventh as Sheila Douty, Jennifer Brundage and Shelly Stokes contributed RBI-singles in a three-run inning. Five USA players had two hits apiece: Berg, Bustos, Brundage, Stokes and Leah Brien-Amico.

On the mound, Smith retired the first 18 batters she faced, but lost her bid for a perfect game when she hit the leadoff batter in the bottom of the seventh. Cuba got a single one out later to end the no-hit bid. Smith, who is 3-0 in the Pan Am Games, recorded 11 strikeouts.

Smith also pitched a one-hitter against Netherlands Antilles and a two-hitter against Canada.

Through 10 games, USA has outscored its opponents 77-1, the lone run coming in an 8-1 victory over Colombia. USA pitchers opened the Pan Am Games with 41 consecutive scoreless innings and are currently on a 24-inning shutout streak. USA pitchers have struck out 136 batters in 66 innings of work.

Danielle Henderson opened the Pan Am Games with the first of her two perfect games, retiring all 21 batters in a 9-0 victory over Colombia. Henderson (3-0) followed with a one-hitter against the Bahamas, then pitched a five-inning perfect game against Bahamas. Henderson recorded 16 strikeouts in her first outing and 13 strikeouts in each of her next two starts. Lisa Fernandez (2-0) struck out 15 and tossed a no-hitter in USA's 5-0 win over Cuba. Fernandez had another 15-strikeout performance in USA's 3-0 victory over Canada. Fernandez finished with a two-hitter. Lori Harrigan (2-0) struck out nine in a two-hit shutout against Netherlands Antilles and recorded 16 strikeouts in a three-hitter against Colombia.

At the plate, Crystl Bustos is leading the way with a .457 batting average (16-for-35) and two home runs. Sheila Douty is hitting .360 (9-for-25), while Dot Richardson is batting .355 (11-for-31). Stacey Nuveman had a 4-for-4 performance against Canada and Lisa Fernandez went 3-for-3 in the opener against Colombia.

After getting a day of rest, USA will face either Canada or Cuba Friday at 7 p.m. (Central).

For boxscores and live updates, visit the ASA website at http://www.softball.org.