June 22, 2001
Honolulu, HI - In their first re-match since the 2000 Olympic gold medal game, the United States defeated Japan 1-0 at the 2001 U.S. Cup Thursday night at the University of Hawaii's Wahine Softball Stadium.
U.S. pitcher Catherine Osterman (Houston, TX), who pitched a complete game with 13 strikeouts, got all the offensive support she would need when UCLA junior Amanda Freed (Cypress, CA) singled home Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, CA) in the bottom of the first inning.
With two outs, Mendoza hit a double to right field and, following a hit-by-pitch at-bat for Bruin junior Stacey Nuveman (La Verne, CA), slid across home with the only run of the game after Freed singled sharply back up the middle. Freed had two hits in the game for Team USA.
Osterman worked out of her first frame jitters - she walked the game's lead-off batter and endured a fielding error by the defense - to put up some glistening numbers. Along with her baker's dozen strikeouts, which included setting down the side in the second, she allowed just three hits and issued one walk.
Osterman's counterpart, Japan's Yuko Taka, also allowed just three hits and didn't surrender a walk, but her team couldn't find a timely bit of hitting.
Emi Nato had two of Japan's hits, with Satoko Mabuchi recording the other. USA Softball continues competition at the U.S. Cup with a game against China at 11 p.m. (EST) Friday. Japan and Australia will open the second day's activities with a game at 9 p.m.