Abbott strikes out six in USA win

SOUTH SURREY, B.C. – The U.S. National Team (5-0) continued its roll through pool play at the 14th-annual Canada Cup at Softball City on Wednesday as former Tennessee hurler Monica Abbott struck out six over two innings of no-hit work to pick up her second victory of the tournament as the Red, White & Blue destroyed Chinese Taipei, 10-1 in 5 innings.

Team USA has outscored its five opponents so far, 42-1, over just 22 innings of play.

The game started inauspiciously in the top of the first as Abbott struck center fielder and lead-off hitter Lai Meng Teng with a pitch to grant the Taipei squad a base runner. It didn't matter, however, as the 6'3 lefthander struck out second baseman Pan Tsu Hui, first baseman Wen Li Hsui, and right fielder Chiang Hui Chuan consecutively to retire the side and leave Meng Teng stranded at first.

The American offense wasted little time in pouncing on Chinese Taipei starting pitcher Lin Su Hua as the Red, White & Blue tallied six runs on seven hits and an error in the bottom of the first. Consecutive singles from center fielder Caitlin Lowe, shortstop Natasha Watley and left fielder Jessica Mendoza granted the U.S. a quick 1-0 advantage.

After a pop-up from designated player Crystl Bustos for the first retirement of the frame, right fielder Kelly Kretschman doubled to left center for two RBI as Team USA nabbed a 3-0 lead. Third baseman Andrea Duran delivered a base hit and catcher Jenny Topping followed with an RBI single to make it 4-0. A base knock off the bat of second baseman Lovie Jung and an error on Chinese Taipei shortstop Lu Hseuh Mei allowed two more to score as the U.S. grabbed a six-run advantage.

Abbott rolled through the second frame with three more strikeouts before giving way in the circle to Cat Osterman (3 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) to begin the top of the third.

With the game well under control from the circle despite a solo homer by left fielder Hui Wen off Osterman in the third, the Red, White & Blue added two runs in the bottom of the second and in the bottom of the fourth to set the final count at 10-1 and bring the run-rule into play.

In the second frame Mendoza delivered an RBI triple and Kretschman a sacrifice fly to make it 8-0. After the home run by Hui Wen, a two-RBI base hit from Topping improved the score to 10-1 in favor of Team USA.

For more information on the U.S. National Team's participation at the Canada Cup check the USA Softball website at www.usasoftball.com or through the official Canada Cup website:

http://www.canadacup.com/index.asp

Updates on Abbott and the U.S. squad will be posted at www.utladyvols.com as they become available.


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