Kelly Barnhill threw a no hitter and the U.S. women’s softball team scored nine runs in the second inning for a 9-0 win over Mexico in the gold-medal game of the Pan American Championship on Sunday in the Dominican Republic.
Barnhill started the game with three strikeouts. Mexico then retired the U.S. in order to end the first inning with the game still scoreless.
In the bottom of the second, Ali Aguilar hit a home run to centerfield with a runner on to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead. From there, Team USA took off. With two runners on, Janie Takeda clobbered the second homer of the game for the U.S. to give them a 5-0 lead and force a pitching change.
Amanda Chidester drove in the sixth run with a single, and then Valerie Arioto hit the team’s third home run of the inning with two runners on to make it 9-0 before the third out.
Barnhill retired the next six batters in order as the U.S. shut Mexico down on defense for the five-inning victory.
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Takeda, Chidester and Michelle Moultrie each had two hits in the game while Arioto and Takeda had three RBI apiece. Barnhill struck out 10.
Earlier in the day, the U.S. fought back from an early 3-0 deficit against Canada, chipping away to tie it in the third inning and then taking the lead with a three-run fourth inning en route to an 11-3 victory to advance to the gold-medal game.
Moultrie led the team with three hits and four RBI and every player on the team had at least one hit in the win.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.