July 31, 1999
Winnipeg, Canada - UCLA volunteer assistant coach Lisa Fernandez (Long Beach, Calif.) pitched a no-hitter to lead the USA Softball Women's National Team to a 5-0 victory over Cuba in pool play of the Pan American Games at John Blumberg Softball Complex. With the win, USA improves to 4-0 while Cuba falls to 4-1.
Fernandez struck out 15 batters for the game and had a perfect game going until issuing a full-count walk to L. Medina with one out in the fourth inning. Fernandez struck out the next two batters, leaving Medina stranded.
"Obviously I was disappointed that I walked someone," Fernandez said. "When you get in that situation and your team is up by four runs, you hate to give someone a free pass. I think that was the downer of the whole game, but Stacey Nuveman (UCLA/LaVerne, Calif.) did a great job behind the plate, mixing up the pitches and keeping Cuba off balance."
USA got on the scoreboard in the second inning, scoring four runs on four hits and one Cuba error. Michele Smith (Califon, N.J.) led off with a single to center field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by former Bruin Jennifer Brundage (Irvine, Calif.). Nuveman's fly ball was dropped by the center fielder for an error, allowing Smith to score and Nuveman to advance to second. Leah O'Brien-Amico (Chino, Calif.) followed with a single to left center and advanced to second as Nuveman beat the throw to the plate. Former UCLA star Dot Richardson (Orlando, Fla.) hit a double to center and O'Brien-Amico advanced to third. Laura Berg (Santa Fe Springs, Calif.) then lined a ball off the pitcher's leg. The ball ricocheted to right field, allowing O'Brien-Amico and Richardson to score.
USA added a run in the fifth inning as Nuveman reached first on a Cuba fielding error and scored on Richardson's one-out triple down the left line.
USA collected eight hits on the night with Richardson, Berg and Christie Ambrosi (UCLA/Overland Park, Kan.) posting two hits apiece. Berg also recorded a team-high two RBI in the win.
"I think overall we played our game for a change," USA head coach Ralph Raymond said. "Coming out and beating a club like Cuba and Lisa throwing a no-hitter is the type of game that we need to continue to play."
USA, which has captured the gold medals at the last three Pan American Games and has won 34-consecutive games in Pan Am Games competition dating back to 1987, resumes pool play Sunday, facing the Bahamas at 1 p.m. and host Canada at 8 p.m.
USA 5, Cuba 0 CUB 000 000 0 - 0 0 3 USA 040 100 x - 5 8 0 Espinosa, Salazar (3) and Medina. Fernandez and Nuveman. W - Fernandez (1-0). L - Espinosa. E - CUB 3 (Villaverde, Perez 2). DP - CUB 1. LOB - CUB 2, USA 4. 2B - USA 1 (Richardson). 3B - USA 1 (Richardson). SH - USA 1 (Brundage). WP - USA 1 (Fernandez). RUNS - USA 5 (Nuveman 2, Richardson, M.Smith, O'Brien-Amico).