U.S. softball team claims 2-0 victory before crowd of 8,724


BOWIE, Md. -- Monica Abbott struck out five of the six batters she faced and the U.S. women's softball team beat National Pro Fastpitch's Washington Glory 2-0 on Saturday in front of 8,724 fans, the largest crowd to see an American pre-Olympic tour game.

The attendance shattered the previous mark for a pre-Olympic tour game of 7,245 in Lake Jackson, Texas in 1996. It was just short of the Olympic record of 8,750 set in Atlanta in 1996.

"What a tremendous turn out," said Natasha Watley, who was 2-for-3 with an RBI for the U.S. "It was so great to play in front of this many fans. It definitely brought our intensity to another level. To see all these people cheer and be a part of our game was incredible. It just shows how much this sport has grown."

Abbott pitched the first two innings. Cat Osterman then pitched three innings before Jennie Finch threw the last two.

The U.S. scored two unearned runs in the sixth inning. Lauren Lappin reached on a fielding error. Caitlin Lowe followed with an infield single before Watley's hit gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead. Kelly Kretschman walked to load the bases before Glory pitcher Amy Harre walked Andre Duran to force in the second run.

With the victory the U.S. improved to 31-1 on their pre-Olympic tour.