ATHENS, Greece, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Natasha Watley went four for four with a double and two RBI Saturday to give the United States a 7-0 Olympic softball win over Italy.
The game was halted in the fifth inning when the Americans, favorites to win their third consecutive gold medal, scored their seventh run.
That run came on a bases-loaded drive to the wall by Watley that would have gone for a three-run triple. But because the United States needed only one more run to get to seven, she was credited with only a single.
A game is stopped when a team faces a seven-run deficit.
Jennie Finch pitched three hitless innings to get the victory.
Australia defeated Japan in the day's first game, 4-2. Canada then won over Taiwan, 2-0, and China blanked Greece, 5-0.
A seven-game round robin preliminary round is played in the softball tournament with the top four teams advancing to the semifinals.
This is the third Olympics in which softball has been played and the Americans now have a 16-4 record.