Anna Kournikova isn't part of the Russian Olympic tennis team. Nor is Maria Sharapova. Daniela Hantuchova played tennis for Slovakia but only reached the second round. Jennie Finch plays softball for Team USA.
So where does Finch fit in the context of this discussion? One, because this is actually a softball report, and two, Finch was chosen in 2003 as ESPN.com's Hottest Female Athlete, easily outpolling Miss Kournikova.
The truth is, though, that in a US softball team that is slaying all before them in these Olympics, isn't really even their star player. As a member of the pitching roster, she doesn't play every game - she pitched in two of the US's seven games to date - and every pitcher in the US squad has shut out the opposition.
And the outstanding pitching performance of the tournament to date wasn't even an American... but we'll come to that in a minute.
Saturday is a rest day in the softball tournament. The eight-team competition finished its league stage on Friday, each country having played the others once. USA will play Australia in the first semi-final on Sunday (4.30pm Sydney time), with China meeting Japan in the second (7pm). The bronze medal game will be held at 1700 Athens time (midnight in Sydney), with the gold medal match on Monday at 11pm Sydney.
USA have won all seven of their league matches for a cumulative total of 41 runs to nil, beating Australia (10-0), Japan (3-0), China (4-0), Canada (7-0), Taiwan (3-0), Greece (7-0) and Italy (7-0). USA's combined team batting average is .346, followed by Japan with .260. The US pitching staff's combined ERA is, of course, 0.00.
Australian player Natalie Titcume has the leading batting average at this stage of the tournament with .600. Crystl Bustos of the US has three home runs, while her team-mate Lisa Fernandez has seven RBI's. With most teams being less diligent than the US in rotating their pitchers, Tanya Harding of Australia had an ERA of 0.00 in four games. Lauren Bay of Canada leads the strikeout tally with 36 from five games.
Jennie Finch started for the US against Italy last Saturday, but only pitched three innings, still enough to credit her with the win. She pitched the entire game (ie, 5 innings) against Canada on Wednesday.
But getting back to the outstanding pitching performance of the tournament, indeed of Olympic softball history. It came on Friday when Yukiko Ueno threw a perfect game for Japan against China. Here is the play-by-play summary of the game. Ueno retired every batter she faced, and registered nine strikeouts in seven innings.
It's not Ueno's first perfect game against the Chinese. She did it to them in the 2002 World Championships and again in the Canada Cup last month.