Duran Has Successful Olympic Debut, Watley Goes Deep in Team USA Victory

Aug. 12, 2008

BEIJING, China. - The United States softball team got off to a great start to the Beijing Olympic Games, posting an 11-0, five-inning victory over Venezuela on Tuesday. Andrea Duran had a successful Olympic debut, going 2-for-3 with three RBI, while Natasha Watley hit her first-ever Olympic home run.

Watley went 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs batted in, while Duran scored twice and reached in three of her four plate appearances. All four Bruins on the Olympic team were in the starting lineup for Team USA, with Watley at short, Duran at third, Stacey Nuveman at catcher and Tairia Mims Flowers at first base. Nuveman went 1-for-3 with a run scored and picked off a runner, while Flowers drew a walk in three plate appearances.

Duran scored the first run of the game for the U.S., leading off the second inning by getting hit by a pitch. Nuveman followed with a single to move Duran to third and Lovie Jung plated Duran to put the United States ahead 1-0. Watley extended her team's lead to 3-0 with a two-run homer to left-center.

In the third, Duran collected her first Olympic base hit with a single to left. She would drive in her first-ever runs one inning later with a bases-clearing double, eventually coming around to score her second run of the game.

The United States, three-time defending gold medalists, next faces Australia, 2004 Olympic silver medalist, at 9 p.m. PT on Tuesday.

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