GREENSBORO, NC – The UNC Greensboro softball team kept the USA Olympic Team off the board for the first two innings but Jennie Finch pitched a no-hitter and Team USA used a five-run third inning en route to a 13-0 win over UNCG on Thursday night at UNCG Softball Stadium.
The USA tallied 13 runs on 15 hits, while Finch allowed just two base-runners, walking Whitney Miller and hitting Emily Akiyama with a pitch.
UNCG pitchers Amber Harrell and Hannah Angel combined for four strikeouts on the night.
“This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our program and the university,” said UNCG coach Jennifer Herzig. “I’m grateful that we had this chance and very proud of the way that we represented ourselves tonight.”
UNCG was able to keep the USA off the board through two innings behind the stellar play of starting pitcher Harrell. The national team threatened runs in the first inning after loading the bases with three consecutive walks, but the McDonough, GA, native pitched out of it by sitting down Vicky Galindo, Lovie Jung and Lauren Lappin to end the inning.
The Spartans took their first base of the evening when Finch hit Akiyama in the third, but UNCG couldn’t manage a hit to move her and ended the inning with two strikeouts. The UNCG defense started well in the bottom of the third inning and recorded two quick outs with a pop out and a fly out before the USA demonstrated its hitting prowess.
Harrell walked leftfielder Jessica Mendoza in the next at-bat and back-to-back singles from Crystl Bustos and Kelly Kretschman loaded the bases. USA was able to push two runs across with a RBI single from Andrea Duran and a RBI single from Galindo scored Kretschman to give the USA a 3-0 lead.
A single from Lappin, who was tagged out at second, added two more runs to the USA tally and gave the Olympic team a commanding 5-0 lead.
Angel entered the game for the Spartans in the fourth inning and was able to keep USA scoreless through the fourth and fifth innings before a three-run home run from Natasha Watley followed by a two-run home run from Bustos pushed the lead to 12-0. Galindo rounded the bases for the final run of the night on a RBI double from Caitlin Lowe.
The Spartans will jump back into conference action this weekend when they welcome Georgia Southern for a league series. The squads will play a doubleheader on Saturday with a scheduled 1 pm first pitch. The teams will conclude the series with a single game beginning at 1 pm.
UNC Greensboro 000 000 0 - 0 0 1
USA Olympic Team 005 008 X - 13 15 0
Pitchers: UNC Greensboro - Amber Harrell; Hannah Angel(4). USA
Olympic Team - Finch, Jennie.
Win-Finch, Jennie(4-1) Loss-Amber Harrell(8-12) T-1:49 A-1500
HR USA - Watley, Natasha; Bustos, Crystl.
- UNCG -