By Karen Price | Aug. 07, 2018, 8 a.m. (ET)
Ali Aguilar bats at the WBSC Women's Softball World Championship on Aug. 3, 2018 in Chiba, Japan.

 

Three pitchers combined for a no-hit shutout and the U.S. softball team crushed a pair of home runs amongst its 10 hits in a 7-0 win over South Africa Tuesday at the WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship in Ichihara, Japan.

UCLA’s Rachel Garcia, a redshirt junior who was named 2018 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, earned her first win of the tournament, striking out nine in three innings, and Keilani Ricketts (Oklahoma ‘13) and Kelly Barnhill (Florida ‘19) each pitched one inning to finish off the no-hitter. 

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Michelle Moultrie (Florida ’12) was 3 for 3 at the plate with a double, a run scored and an RBI. Haylie McCleney (Alabama ’16) was 2 for 3 with two runs and Sahvanna Jaquish (LSU ’17) and Kirsti Merritt (Florida ’16) both hit home runs in the win. Merritt hit a three-run home run in the third inning to make it 4-0 for the U.S. and Jaquish finished with three RBI after her home run to center field that scored McCleney and made it 7-0 in the fourth inning.

Both the U.S. and Puerto Rico remain undefeated at 6-0, but that will change for one team on Wednesday (9 p.m. EDT Tuesday) when the Group A leaders face off in Narita City in the final game of preliminary-round play before playoffs begin Friday. 

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.