Abbott Strikes Out 12 As Team USA Downs Colombia At Pan Am Games

Following two days of delays due to heavy rain and wind damage to the softball complex at the XV Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the U.S. National Team downed Brazil, 7-0 (5), and Colombia, 4-0, on Wednesday to open the event at a perfect 2-0 and improve its record to 74-3 all-time at the Pan Am Games.

Former Tennessee hurler Monica Abbott (5 IP, 0 H, 0 BB) struck out 12 over five innings of work against the Colombian squad while combining with Jennie Ritter (2 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 5 K) on a no-hitter.

In Wednesday’s opener, Jennie Finch struck out 11 over four frames of effort before Alicia Hollowell entered the circle in relief to fire one perfect inning and wrap-up a 7-0 triumph over Pan Am host Brazil.

The U.S. scored in each of the five innings against the Brazilians with two runs in the first and fourth innings and single tallies in the second, third and fifth. Right fielder Laura Berg led the offense with a 2-for-2, two-run, one-RBI effort, while shortstop Natasha Watley (1-for-2, two runs, RBI), left fielder Jessica Mendoza (1-for-2, two runs, RBI), designated player Crystl Bustos (1-for-2, RBI) and third baseman Andrea Duran (1-for-2, RBI) each knocked in a single run in the victory.

In the day’s second match-up, Duran launched a grand slam in the fourth inning off Colombian pitcher Janey Penata to provide the necessary support for Abbott and Ritter’s outstanding combined effort in the circle. In the game, Abbott struck out eight of the first nine hitters she faced while throwing 43 of her 52 pitches for strikes.

The Red, White & Blue are now 18-0 during its 2007 summer tour including championships at the Canada Cup and the KFC World Cup of Softball.

Story Courtesy: UT Lady Vols Sports Information

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