International News: Team USA claim 2022 World Games title with thrilling 3-2 win over Japan

Team USA players show off their gold medals after the thrilling 3-2 win over Japan on Wednesday night in Birmingham, Ala.

The two seeds – the No. 1 USA and No. 2 Japan – squared off on Wednesday night to see who would win the gold medal after a solid week of play at the World Games.

Japan fell behind 3-0 but never played and in fact beat the host American team. The question was whether the visitors would have enough to defeat the American bowler who has been fantastic all week?

Here’s a recap of last night’s game action courtesy of USA Softball…

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With more than 10,000 fans gathered at Hoover Met Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama, the United States Women’s National Softball Team (WNT) emerged victorious at the 2022 World Games after a close Olympic rematch against Japan No. 2 which ended in a narrow 3-2 victory for the Red, White and Blue.

World Games MVP Hallie McCleney waves to the crowd after earning her medal.

An international rivalry spanning decades, Team USA‘s victory over Japan marks their third straight World Championship title following their gold medals at the 2016 and 2018 WBSC World Championships.

The American defense shone in Wednesday night’s win, coming off an intense three innings with Japanese runners in scoring position while allowing a minimum of two runs through home plate despite Japan’s eight combined hits.

The veteran pitching team of Monica Abbott and Ally Carda topped the circle in the win with a total of 10 strikeouts to hold off Japan in the tight defensive battle while a three-point brace from Janae Jefferson gave the Eagles the edge they needed to win the gold medal 3-2.

Japan hit two base runners in the top of the first inning via a field error and a walk to start the gold medal game, but starting pitcher Monica Abbott tied with two runners as a strikeout ended the batting.

Leaving for the Eagles down the frame, Haylie McCleney drove a simple line drive to left field before a slick double play from the Japanese infield cleared the bases followed by an infield for the third out of the inning.

Threatening an early lead in the top of the second, the Japanese offense managed to load the bases after stringing together a single with one out, two bunts and a walk, but the two-time Olympic medalist pitcher remained calm under pressure to force a pitch . at Hannah Flippen at shortstop to end the bat without damage.

Seeking to trigger a rally at the end of the second, Charla Echols sent a hard ground ball down the right side to get things going for the United States, followed by a walk to Bubba Nickles and a single from Dejah Mulipola to load bases without outs.

Leading a fight against the American offense, Japan focused on recording two quick outs via a fielder’s pick and an at-bat to bring Jefferson home for a bases-loaded, two-out situation. Digging into the plate, the four-time University of Texas All-American came on with a game-changing brace and cleared goals to give Team USA a 3-0 lead heading into the third. .

The box score tells the story as Team USA took a big lead and held on as Japan drew within one.

Replying with two singles high up the frame, Japan scored their first inning of the contest on a ground ball down the middle of the field to cut the USA lead, 3-1. A par pitch followed by another single again loaded the bases, but Abbott refocused to force an out for the third out of the inning.

The scoreline held steady at 3-1 until the fourth set before a starting brace sparked the Japanese offense early in the fifth. With no outs and a second-row runner, Carda took over pitching duties for the Eagles before another hit from the Japanese pushed a run to cut the USA lead, 3-2. . Settling down with a few deep breaths, Carda stopped the next three batters she faced with two strikeouts and a well-lined bunt to end the bat.

A 1-2-3 inning late in the fifth put Team USA out in order while an early walk put a runner up for Japan in the top of the sixth. Fiery in the circle, Carda zoned in to fan three straight batters and blocked the runner first to send the United States home.

Another quick inning kept the reds, whites and blues off base paths down the frame as the game headed into the seventh with the United States up one point.

Continuing to dominate with confidence, Carda picked up two more strikeouts before recording the final out of the game herself via a pop fly into the circle to seal the 3-2 gold medal victory for Team USA. .

Here’s a look at how Wednesday’s final matches unfolded:

The Red, White and Blue performed well throughout the World Games with a .331 batting average as Mulipola led the team with .615 followed by McCleney at .533 and Kinzie Hansen with an average of .417.

The Eagles scored a total of 31 points in their gold medal campaign, while Abbott’s American pitching team, Carda, Megan Faraimo, Jailyn Ford and boobies of montana allowed a low of just four points in five games.

Adding to the total of 54 strikeouts, Carda led the Staff with 19 K followed by Abbott with 17 and Fouts with 13.

Racking up a total of five RBIs, four runs scored, eight hits and two doubles in front of hometown fans, McCleney proved to be a key contributor en route to the 2022 World Championship title while also being named MVP. of the 2022 World Games softball tournament.


Click here for more information on the 2022 World Games.

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