Five Bruins On World Cup of Softball Championship Team
July 18, 2006
OKLAHOMA CITY - Five former UCLA softball players participated with Team USA as the Americans captured the second annual World Cup of Softball Presented by Frosted Flakes. Natasha Watley and Andrea Duran each started all six tournament games, while Stacey Nuveman had five starts behind the plate, Tairia Mims Flowers had four starts and Amanda Freed came off the bench in three games during tournament play.
Flowers started four games, hitting .444 with three runs scored, a home run, two RBI and three walks. Her home run came in Sunday's 11-0 victory over Japan in the final game of round-robin play.
Watley, Team USA's starting shortstop, hit .421 for the tournament, going 8-for-19 with team-highs of 10 runs scored and three triples. She also had six RBIs and a .737 slugging percentage for the tournament. Watley started hot, going 3-for-4 in Team USA's opener against Great Britain, scoring twice with two RBIs and a triple on the day. She also tripled and stole a base against Japan in the final pool play game and scored the Americans' second run in the bottom of the first inning in the championship game.
Starting at third base in her Team USA debut, Duran had an impressive performance, hitting .333 for the tournament, going 6-for-18 with four runs scored, a double, two home runs and five RBIs. Duran homered in her Team USA debut in the tournament opener against Great Britain and also had a home run in the Championship Game against Japan.
Nuveman caught five of Team USA's six tournament games, missing only the second game of the USA's day-night doubleheader on Saturday. Nuveman capped her impressive weekend behind the plate with a towering fourth-inning leadoff home run to give the Americans a three-run lead against Japan in what would eventually be a 5-2 win.
Freed played as a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner, scoring twice.
The U.S. Women's National team will return to action on July 29-10 at the NPF's Texas Thunder before traveling to the World Championships in Beijing, China, Aug. 27-Sept. 5.
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