August 7, 1999
Winnipeg, Canada - The USA Softball Women's National Team captured its fourth-consecutive gold medal at the Pan American Games with a thrilling 1-0, eight-inning victory over crowd-favorite Canada tonight at the John Blumberg Softball Complex.
"Canada gave us all we wanted tonight, but we were able to pull out the win," USA head coach Ralph Raymond said. "This team played exceptionally well the past two weeks, and they deserve to take home the gold medal."
USA cruised through the tournament, finishing with a 12-0 record. In addition, USA boosted its winning streak to 42 games in Pan Am competition. The 1-0 win in the final game was the most competitive game Team USA faced in the tournament, having won its previous 11 games by an average of more than seven runs and outscoring its opponents 82-1.
USA scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning, aided by two former UCLA stars. Dot Richardson (Orlando, Fla.), who went 2-for-4 at the plate, led the USA charge with a one-out single to left field and then moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Then with two outs, Lisa Fernandez (Long Beach, Calif.) posted the game-winning RBI with a single through the left side to score Richardson.
"Fortunately I was in a position to help the team tonight and was able to put the ball in play," Fernandez said. "It was a total team effort tonight. Everyone worked together and knew that we would get it done."
USA was closing in on its fourth no-hitter of the tournament as pitcher Michele Smith did not allow a hit until the seventh inning. With two outs, Canada's Chris Parris-Washington had a routine infield pop-up which turned into a single when Smith and first baseman Sheila Douty both called for the ball and then let it drop untouched. Smith struck out the next batter to get out of the inning.
Douty, the former UCLA All-American, singled to start the bottom of the seventh, but USA was unable to capitalize and forced the game into extra innings. Smith gave up a one-out single in the eighth inning, but retired the next two batters.
Smith finished the game allowing only two hits and striking out seven in the complete game. She improves to 4-0. Sandra Newsham was charged with the loss, allowing seven hits and striking out five.
USA 1, Canada 0 (eight innings) CAN 000 000 00 - 0 2 0 USA 000 000 01 - 1 7 0 Newsham and Smith, M. Smith and Nuveman. W - M. Smith (4-0). L - Newsham. LOB - CAN 2, USA 6. CS - CAN 1 (Parris-Washington). SH - USA 1 (Berg). WP - CAN 1 (Newsham). RUNS - USA 1 (Richardson).
USA Softball Women's National Team Pan American Games Results: USA def. COL, 9-0, WP - Danielle Henderson (Commack, N.Y.), LP - Pusey McLaughlin USA def. AHO, 5-0, WP - Michele Smith (Califon, N.J.), LP - Rozelin Kinburn USA def. AHO, 5-0, WP - Lori Harrigan (Las Vegas, Nev.), LP - Judesca Martis USA def. CUB, 5-0, WP - Lisa Fernandez (Long Beach, Calif.), LP - Gallardo Espinosa USA def. BAH, 15-0 (five innings), WP - Danielle Henderson (Commack, N.Y.), LP - Melissa Lockhart USA def. CAN, 7-0, WP - Michele Smith (Califon, N.J.), LP - Sandra Newsham USA def. COL, 8-1, WP - Lori Harrigan (Las Vegas, Nev.), LP - Ramirez Florez USA def. BAH, 12-0 (five innings), WP - Danielle Henderson (Commack, N.Y.), LP - Mary Edgecombe USA def. CAN, 3-0, WP - Lisa Fernandez (Long Beach, Calif.), LP - Vicky Bastarache USA def. CUB, 6-0, WP - Michele Smith (Califon, N.J.), LP - Salazar Milanes USA def. CAN, 5-0, WP - Lisa Fernandez (Long Beach, Calif.), LP - Vicky Bastarache USA def. CAN, 1-0 (8 inn.), WP - Michele Smith (Califon, N.J.), LP - Sandra Newsham