International News: Team USA edge Australia 5-0 to advance to 2022 World Games gold medal game vs. No. 2 Japan
Like storied rivalries in other sports, it always seems to come down to the United States versus Japan in international competition and the 2022 World Games will be decided tonight as the two powers take to the field in Alabama to see who walks away. as champions.
To advance to the final, the Americans had to face a good Australian team, but the pitching was once again dominant.
Here’s a recap of last night’s game action courtesy of USA Softball…
Behind a perfect day on the plate Haylie McCleney and a combined 11 strikeout performance from the pitching staff of Ally Carda and boobies of montanathe world number 1 ranked United States Women’s National Team (WNT) clinched their place in today’s highly anticipated gold medal game with a 5-0 shutout against Australia, number 8.
Tuesday night’s win marks Team USA‘s fourth straight win and third shutout of the tournament while limiting opponents to a minimum of two points over three days of competition.
The American offense enjoyed five hits in the win, including three from McCleney’s bat followed by one hit each from Hannah Flippen and Bubba Nickles.
In the circle, Carda set the tone early with six strikeouts in five innings before Fouts sealed the shutout with five straight strikeouts and one pitch in the final two innings of the game.
Working to find the area at the top of the first inning, Carda threw a first step to start the game, but quickly fought back with an at-bat and a ground takeout to put two outs on the board before two more steps failed. load the goals. Staying calm under pressure, the veteran pitcher focused on the next batter with a big strikeout to escape the inning without damage.
Shaking things up for USA at the bottom of the frame, leadoff batter McCleney sent a hard ground ball through the left side to give Team USA their first base runner of the night before a pitch and a jump brought Flippen to the plate with two a way. Executing batting quality with a hard line down the middle, Flippen sent the first American run through the plate to give the Reds, Whites and Blues an early one-run advantage.
Both offenses were snuffed out in the second and third innings before the Eagles extended their lead late in the fourth.
A single step towards Taylor Pleasants would start the rally for the United States followed by a Nickles single and another march to Janae Jefferson to load the bases. With the stage perfectly set up, McCleney delivered a double clutch line drive down the right field line to clear the bases and tack on three runs for Team USA. A field and a walk for two for Charla Echols would put the runners in the corners for the United States before a delayed strategic flight from Echols allowed McCleney to head home to put the Eagles in the lead, 5-0.
Settling in and taking control of the circle, Carda withdrew the Australian attack in order in the top of the fifth to maintain the five-point lead for the Red, White and Blue. Despite a pair of walks late in the set, the American offense could not collect points before being sent back to defense.
Returning to pitching duties in the top of the sixth, Fouts quickly found his groove with three straight strikeouts – giving a deja vu to his debut in Monday’s game against Italy.
Another scoreless inning by Team USA in the bottom of the sixth would send them back into the field for the final three outs of the game, which went 1-2-3 with two more strikeouts from Fouts and a pitch to Jefferson. to seal the 5-0 victory.
Last night’s victory propelled the Reds, Whites and Blues into the 2022 World Games gold medal match tonight at 8:00 p.m. for a much-anticipated game against world No. 2 ranked Japan.
Signifying the World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC) World Championship, Team USA will be looking to defend their gold medal at the 2018 WBSC World Championship in Chiba, Japan, where USA secured a qualification place for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a 7-6th victory against Japan.
Fans can tune into tomorrow’s gold medal contest on CBS Sports Network with live stats available at USASoftball.com.
Click here for more information on the 2022 World Games.