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USA Gold Wins Canada Cup Championship; USA Blue Places Third
USA Gold and USA Blue both won their second round games todayand will face each other tonight at 9 p.m. (CDT) in the winner'sbracket final of the Canada Cup at Surrey, British Columbia.
USA Gold defeated Australia 3-0, while USA Blue defeated Japan1-0. Both teams improve to 9-0 overall and 2-0 in the playoffrounds.
Leah O'Brien-Amico provided all of USA Gold's offense witha three-run homer in the second inning. After walks to StaceyNuveman and Jennifer Brundage put runners on first and second,O'Brien-Amico followed with a home run to right field, her firstof the tournament.
After giving up a leadoff double to open the game, USA Goldstarter Lisa Fernandez allowed only two hits the rest of the wayto finish with a three-hit complete game shutout. Fernandez recorded12 strikeouts.
Barbara Jordan scored on a wild pitch in the first inning forthe only run of the game and Christa Williams pitched a two-hitteras USA Blue advanced to the winner's bracket finals.
USA Blue scored its run without benefit of a hit, as Jordanand Kim Maher walked and Teri Klement reached on an error to loadthe bases. Jordan came home on the wild pitch for the game's lonerun. USA Blue was held to two hits by Japan pitcher Kumiko Ito.
Williams pitched out of a jam in the first inning after Japanloaded the bases on two walks and a single. Williams struck outsix and survived five walks to improve to 4-0 in the tournament.Saturday's win was USA Blue's seventh shutout in nine Canada Cupgames.
USA Gold posted a 4-3-1 record against USA Blue in the Coca-ColaChallenge Series prior to the Canada Cup.
The winner of tonight's game advances directly to the championshipgame, scheduled for Sunday at 5:30 p.m. (CDT). The loser of tonight'sgame must win the loser's bracket final Sunday at 3 p.m. for achance to play for the championship.