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Newz Forum: OLYMPICS: US Softball wins gold

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Ben

posted on Aug, 23 2004 @ 10:19 AM
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They are America's newest golden girls -- powerful and just a shade from perfection.The U.S. softball team won its third straight gold medal with an unprecedented and nearly unblemished romp through the Olympics, capped by a 5-1 victory Monday over an Australian team, that, like the rest of softball's elite, never had a chance.
 

The Americans zeroed in on a gold medal, and were four outs from a tournament-long shutout before the Aussies scored a run -- the first given up by the U.S. pitching staff in 54 2-3 innings.

One minor flaw on an otherwise perfect run on the game's grandest diamond.

Women's softball has never been played better.

Lisa Fernandez pitched a four-hitter and Crystl Bustos homered twice in the Americans' best all-around game of the tournament. Under the burning Greek sun and in swirling wind, the U.S. team pounded three home runs off Aussie ace Tanya Harding, the only pitcher who had twice beaten the United States in Olympic play.

The Americans moved over runners. They played stingy defense. They did everything right while thrilling 5,000 fans unlikely ever to see a team as good as this red-white-blue Dream Team of power and speed.

These Yankees, minus the payroll and pinstripes, were simply awesome.

"This is the greatest feeling in the world,'' said outfielder Kelly Kretschman. "We made it look easy but every game was tough.''

Bustos homered twice off Harding, and the United States completed a three-game sweep of the silver medal-winning Aussies, the only team in the same class as the Americans in these games.

The United States outscored Australia 20-1 in the three-game sweep and finished the nine-game tournament by outscoring the field 51-1. The run total was just one of more than a dozen Olympic records that fell to the mighty U.S. squad.

The United States outscored Australia 20-1 in the three-game sweep and finished the nine-game tournament by outscoring the field 51-1. The run total was just one of more than a dozen Olympic records that fell to the mighty U.S. squad.

After getting the final out, Fernandez flung her glove high into the air and was swarmed on by her teammates, who piled on one after another as if they were attempting to build a pyramid in the dirt.

The Americans are leaving Greece with what they came for: a gold medal for themselves, their country and a "team mom'' who couldn't be there to share it.

A month before the Olympics, Sue Candrea, the wife of U.S. coach Mike Candrea, died of a brain aneurysm while traveling with the team on its "Aiming for Athens'' tour. She quit her job to join her husband of 28 years.

She rode the buses with the All-American girls, went for coffee with them and gave them companionship while on the road away from their families as they chased their dream of Greek gold.

The American women honored Sue Candrea by wearing "SC'' decals on their batting helmets and wristbands. She was always in their hearts.

Until the final with Australia, the Americans stiffest test -- and only one -- came in the preliminary round against Japan, the bronze medalist which forced the U.S. team into extra innings and the excruciating international tiebreaker.

In the eighth inning, the U.S. caught a break when third baseman Reika Utsugi lost an easy popup in the sun, giving the Americans an extra out that seemed heaven sent.

"Sue was looking down upon us,'' Candrea said at the time.

She was in their thoughts as they savored the medal

After sharing hugs with his coaching staff, Candrea walked onto the field to join his players. The first to meet him was Leah O'Brien-Amico, the only mother on the 15-woman roster, who wrapped her arms around her Olympic and college coach.

Moments later, the entire U.S. team surrounded Candrea and lifted him into the air.



TRD

posted on Aug, 23 2004 @ 02:52 PM
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To be honest it comes as no surprise they won it. They are far the best team there is and with Jennie Finch in the team who wouldn't want them to win...



posted on Aug, 23 2004 @ 09:39 PM
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Yeah, no surprise. I think it's a bigger surprise that they scored on them...



 
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