Sept. 26, 2000
SYDNEY - Six former Bruin softball players were among the starting lineup for USA Softball on Tuesday as the United States defeated Japan 2-1 in eight innings to earn a second consecutive Olympic gold medal.
In the infield, five of the six players were Bruins, including Sheila Cornell Douty at first base, Dr. Dot Richardson at second base, Jennifer Brundage at third base, Lisa Fernandez in the pitching circle and Bruin junior Stacey Nuveman catching. That group of five was joined by left fielder Christi Ambrosi to give UCLA six of the nine defensive players for the gold medal team. Junior pitcher Amanda Freed is also in Australia as an alternate for the team.
Fernandez pitched a complete-game win in the gold medal game against Japan, striking out eight. She completed the tournament with 52 strikeouts, the most among any pitcher in the tournament. That total included an Olympic record 25 strikeouts in a 2-1 13-inning loss to the Australians in pool play.
An outfield single by Nuveman in the fourth inning scored Michelle Smith and tied the game at 1-1. It was the only hit of the game for the U.S. Nuveman walked to lead off the eighth inning, and Jennifer McFalls, who pinch-ran for Nuveman, scored the winning run on a fly ball to the outfield by Laura Berg.