July 21, 2002
SURREY, B.C., Canada - The USA World Team fought back from the loser's bracket to capture the 2002 Canada Cup championship trophy by defeating the USA Elite Team, 4-0, in the title game. It was sweet revenge for the World Team, which had been sent to the loser's after dropping a 3-1 decision to the Elite Team earlier in championship bracket play.
The title tilt was a pitchers' duel as Jennie Finch (La Mirada, Calif.) of the World Team and Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas) of the Elite Team allowed only two hits apiece and struck out six each. While Finch lost her no-hit bid in the fourth inning on a one-out single by Sarah Beeson (Tucson, Ariz.), Osterman had a perfect game until the bottom of the fourth when Natasha Watley Irvine, Calif.) led off with a chopper over Osterman's head. Watley advanced on a sacrifice by Lovieanne Jung (Fountain Valley, Calif.) but was stranded at second as Osterman got a fly out and a strikeout to get out of the inning.
The USA World Team did all of its damage in the sixth, scoring four unearned runs in the inning. Amanda Freed (Cypress, Calif.) drew a walk to lead off the inning and reached second when Alana Addison (Gonzales, La.) muffed a throw from Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, Calif.) on a fielder's choice by Laura Berg (Santa Fe Springs, Calif.). Watley moved the runners with a sacrifice, and Jung plated Freed with a sacrifice fly to left field. Jessica Mendoza(Camarillo, Calif.) then reached on a passed ball after striking out. Stacey Nuveman (La Verne, Calif.), the tournament's most valuable player, then launched her eighth home run of the tournament to put the World Team ahead, 4-0.
Finch allowed a single in the sixth but got out of the inning on a double play. She then retired the side in the top of the seventh to preserve the victory and earn the title.
The USA World Team travels to Saskatoon, Sasketchwan, Canadatomorrow to prepare for the ISFWomen's World Championships which begin on Friday, July 26 and run through August 4. The USAwill be attempting to win its fifth consecutive Women's World Championship and secure the top seed at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.