Vicky Galindo hit a grand slam, Stacey Nuveman homered and drove in two runs and the United States advanced to the championship game of the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City with a 7-0 win Saturday night against Japan.
Galindo lined a 3-1 pitch from Naoko Sakamoto to straightaway center to put the Americans ahead 5-0. She rounded the bases and clapped her hands as her teammates mobbed her at home plate.
The game ended after 4 1/2 innings because of the mercy rule.
Jennie Finch struck out eight and allowed only two hits in five innings. She also hit two batters.
In their first game of the day, Jessica Mendoza and Nuveman homered, and Galindo drove in three runs as the United States beat China 11-3.
Mendoza’s was a three run shot and Nuveman’s a two-run homer as the U.S. broke out of an offensive slump.
The U.S. (2-1) scored only once in its loss Thursday to Canada, which broke an 85-game international winning streak. It scored its three runs against Australia on Friday without a hit, taking advantage of four walks and two wild pitches.
T-ball coach arrested
A T-ball coach in Pennsylvania allegedly paid one of his players $25 to hurt an 8-year-old mentally disabled teammate so he wouldn’t have to put the boy in the game, police said Friday.
Mark R. Downs Jr., 27, of Dunbar, Pa., is accused of offering one of his players the money to hit the boy in the head with a baseball, police said. Witnesses told police Downs didn’t want the boy to play in the game because of his disability.
The boy was hit in the head and in the groin with a baseball just before a game, and didn’t play, police said.
Downs was arrested and arraigned Friday on charges including criminal solicitation to commit aggravated assault and corruption of minors. He was released from jail on an unsecured bond.
Williams admits gifts
Roy Williams said he made a “mistake” when he approved gifts to graduating players and others who had used up their eligibility while coach at Kansas, but denied there was any intentional wrongdoing.
“We wanted a program that would positively represent the university and the integrity of our basketball program was always very important to me,” Williams said in a statement. “I am deeply saddened to say ther`e was evidently a mistake.”
Williams – now the coach at North Carolina – issued the statement to respond to a report by Kansas outlining NCAA rules violations in its athletic department.
•Attempting to quell a flood of speculation about Stan Van Gundy’s future with the Miami Heat, team president Pat Riley insisted that no coaching change is imminent – while again saying he hasn’t completely ruled out a return to the sidelines in the future.
“I would quit my job before I would dismiss Stan Van Gundy as the head coach simply because I wanted to coach,” Riley said in a call with the team’s beat writers. “Period. That’s not me. Anybody who knows me knows that I wouldn’t do that for the sake of me wanting to get back into the job.”
Track and field
Russians set records
Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva broke her own world record in the women’s pole vault, clearing 16 feet, 23/4 inches at the Super Grand Prix meet in Madrid, Spain.
The 22-year-old Olympic champion bettered her previous record of 16-2 set July 5 in Lausanne, Switzerland. It’s the 15th world record set by Isinbayeva.
•Tatyana Lysenko of Russia set a world record for the women’s hammer throw Friday in Moscow with a toss of 252 feet, 10 inches. Lysenko set the record at the Vladimir Kuts Memorial meet. She broke the old mark of 249-7 set by Mihaela Melinte of Romania in 1999.
WTA final pairing set
Fifth-seeded Anna Smashnova reached the final at the Modena (Italy) International tournament, beating Flavia Pennetta of Italy 7-5, 6-3.
Smashnova will try to win her 10th WTA title today when she meets Italy’s Tathiana Garbin, who beat Agnes Szavay of Hungary 6-3, 6-0.
•France won its doubles match to lead Russia 2-1 in the Davis Cup quarterfinals.
In the other quarterfinals, Slovakia leads the Netherlands 2-1, Croatia leads Romania 2-1 and Argentina leads Australia 2-1.
•Alexandra Stevenson got the first victory of her comeback from shoulder surgery by beating Alana Van Dervort 7-5, 6-1 in qualifying at a WTA Tour hardcourt tournament.
Stevenson, who in 1999 became the first female qualifier to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon, has been off the tour since having an operation on her right shoulder in September.
Once ranked as high as No. 18, the 24-year-old was 835th in last week’s rankings and needed a wild-card invitation for qualifying in Cincinnati.
LeDoux in rodeo HOF
Late world bareback riding champion and country singer Chris LeDoux and Montana stock contractor Marvin Brookman were among the six people inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo. … J.W. Myers bounced back a day after his hydroplane flipped twice to win his first qualifying heat in the American Power Boat Association’s 97th Gold Cup competition in Detroit.
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