Johnson's Bat Paces USA to Gold Medal Contest

Oct. 23, 2011

GUADALAJAR, Mexico - Led by the sizzling bat of Molly Johnson, Team USA advanced to the gold medal game at the Pan American Games for the ninth time in the team's history. Johnson was a perfect 3-for-3 at the dish with three RBI and a pair of runs scored.

"I am having so much fun right now," Johnson said. "I just go out there and have fun because having come back from my injuries I have learned you just never know what is going to happen next so you have to make the best of it. This team is ready for tomorrow no matter who we face, we are right where we want to be."

Johnson has been the spark offensively for the Americans who have earned a perfect 8-0 record during the course of the tournament. Kentucky's assistant coach is leading the squad with a .667 batting average on 10-of-15 attempts at the plate. She has notched four doubles, seven RBI and scored seven times. She's started six games at shortstop with eight assists and a pair of putouts.

Team USA has dominated its opponents as the Americans own a collective .418 batting clip and are limiting opponents to a mere .139 average. Team USA's pitching staff has totaled five shutouts in eight games.

In the semifinal contest against No. 2 seed Cuba, the Americans captured a convincing 13-1 victory.

With a record of 8-0 and five shutout victories, the U.S improves its overall Pan American Games record to 86-3 since it debuted in 1979. The U.S has won the last six consecutive gold medals (1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2007) and will be seeking its eighth overall on Sunday afternoon. In the 2011 games, the U.S. has outscored its opponents 67-7 with a .714 slugging percentage.

With the win, the U.S. advances to the gold medal game on Sunday (October 23) at 1 p.m. ET against the winner of the Cuba vs. Canada game scheduled for 11 a.m. (October 23).

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