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Cathi Aradi

USA Softball Women's National Team Wins Olympic Prep Tourney

A 2-0 championship game victory over host Italy wrapped up the Olympic Prep Tournament De Parma 2000 for the USA Softball Women's National Team, as well as the team's three week tour of Italy. Christa Williams (Houston, Texas) allowed just one hit while pitching for the U.S., which posted a 6-0 record for the Parma, Italy tournament.

Single runs in the fourth and fifth innings, combined with Williams' presence inside the pitching circle, pushed the U.S. to the tournament title.

Pinch-runner Michelle Venturella (Indianapolis, Ind.) scored in the bottom of the fourth inning when Michele Smith (Califon, N.J.) roped a double off the outfield wall, breaking a scoreless deadlock. Venturella was running for Sheila Douty (Diamond Bar, Calif.), who had doubled off the same outfield wall earlier in the inning.

Smith also drove in the team's other run, with her single in the fifth inning that scored Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, Calif.). Bustos, who had singled, worked herself into scoring position by advancing on a passed ball.

With its 6-0 showing in the Parma tournament, the USA Softball Women's National Team extended its international unbeaten streak to 43 games dating back to the 1998 ISF World Championship.

The next competition for the USA Softball Women's National Team will be its "Central Park to Sydney" Tour, a 31-city venture that will pit the National Team against teams from the Women's Professional Softball League, as well as regional and local all-star teams.