U.S. beats China in softball opener

Updated: June 24, 2010, 7:21 PM ET
Associated Press

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Natasha Watley's RBI single in the top of the seventh inning helped the United States to a 1-0 victory over China in both teams' opener at the world softball championship on Thursday.

Cat Osterman threw a complete game for the United States with 11 strikeouts.

"We really worked on getting them guessing," Osterman said. "We worked both sides of the plate and made them chase a bit."

China reliever Li Qui gave up only two hits in 2 1/3 innings.

The United States has won this event six straight times and is a strong favorite to reach the final of the 16-team tournament on July 2 -- possibly against Olympic champion Japan, which beat Argentina 13-1 on Wednesday in the opening game.

"Any time you have runners on base, you want to look at getting in a situation where you can make something happen," Watley said. "We didn't have our best day today at the plate. We were struggling and not real aggressive so I really just wanted to get on base and do whatever I could to get a run in."

"We really worked on getting them guessing," Osterman said. "We worked both sides of the plate and made them chase a bit."

In other scores on Thursday, it was China 12, Botswana 0; Britain 3, South Africa 0; Japan 5, Taiwan 0; New Zealand 8, Botswana 1.

Later games were Britain vs. Netherlands; Dominican Republic vs. Czech Republic; Canada vs. Cuba; and Australia vs. Venezuela.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press