BEIJING -- Behind an Olympic record offensive output and a combined no-hitter by Jennie Finch (La Mirada, Calif.) and Monica Abbott (Salinas, Calif.), the U.S. women's softball team opened the defense of its gold medal with an 11-0 win over Venezuela in five innings.
The 11 runs was an Olympic record for an individual team and was sparked by the long ball. Natasha Watley (Irving, Calif.) hit a two-run shot and Caitlin Lowe (Tustin, Calif.) had an inside-the-park homer in the second and Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, Calif.) had a solo homer in the third. Finch struck out five and walked two over four innings before giving way to Abbott, who struck out a pair in one inning of work.
Next up for the U.S. is Australia, with the game scheduled for noon Wednesday, Aug. 13.