Softball Preview
The U.S. Women’s National Softball Team will look for the program’s fourth Olympic Gold Medal following the sport’s 13-year hiatus from the Olympic Games. With softball’s removal from the Olympic program following the Olympic Games Beijing 2008, both baseball and softball were added to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 program as a part of the Olympic Agenda 2020, which encourages innovation in the Olympic program.

The No. 1 ranked team in the world, Team USA punched their ticket to the Tokyo Games by winning the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation Women’s Softball World Championship – the 11th overall for the program.

The U.S. has established itself as the most dominating team in international softball history, considered by many to be the favorite heading into Tokyo. Loaded with talent, a strong pitching staff and a powerful offense, Team USA will look to reclaim the gold medal from host-country Japan, who upset the Americans at the Beijing Games to hand the U.S. its first Olympic silver medal.

Members of the team were selected in October 2019 at the Olympic Team Selection Trials, led by head coach Ken Eriksen. At the helm of the program since 2011, Eriksen has guided the team to back-to-back world championship titles and Pan American gold and silver medals. Eriksen also has previous Olympic experience, serving as an assistant coach for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Softball Team, which put on one of the most dominating performances in Olympic history. 

Updated on July 20, 2020. For more information, contact the sport press officer here.

Having medaled in every Olympic Games featuring the sport of softball, Team USA is considered by many to be the favorite heading into Tokyo. Currently ranked the No. 1 team in the world, the U.S. has established itself as a perennial powerhouse, having claimed 11 total world championship titles, three Olympic gold medals and one Olympic silver medal. Overall, the U.S. holds a 33-5 Olympic record.

Having served as the head coach for the U.S. since 2011, Ken Eriksen will lead Team USA at the Tokyo Games. Eriksen is establishing himself as one of the winningest coaches in USA Softball history, currently sitting in second in wins for the program behind fellow hall of fame coach Ralph Raymond. Eriksen has compiled a 52-4 record at the helm of Team USA in major international competitions.

Since the sport’s removal from the Olympic program, the U.S. has developed a core group of veterans heading into the Olympic Games. While the team will not be finalized until after the Olympic Team Selection Trials in October 2019, Valerie Arioto and Michelle Moultrie have made every U.S. roster since 2011. Additional veterans include Haylie McCleney, Kelsey Stewart, Aubree Munro and Janie Reed. Also returning to the national team are Olympians Monica Abbott and Cat Osterman – both members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Softball Team, which captured a silver medal at the Games. Osterman also earned a gold medal at the Olympic Games Athens 2004.

Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, California)
Arioto is a veteran leader on the U.S. squad and is looking to secure her spot on the 2020 U.S. Olympic Softball Team. Having been on the national team since 2011, Arioto is one of the most feared hitters in the game. At the most recent USA Softball International Cup, Arioto led the field with 11 walks, five home runs and 10 RBIs.


Haylie McCleney (Morris, Alaska)
Holding down centerfield for the national team, McCleney is arguably one of the best outfielders in the game. She is also lethal at the plate in the leadoff spot. Using both speed and power, McCleney sat tied atop the leaderboard at the 2018 WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship with 14 runs scored.


Monica Abbott (Salinas, California) and Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas)
Abbott and Osterman are two Olympic hopefuls boasting prior Olympic experience. The two southpaws bring a depth of international pitching experience. Abbott posted a 0.29 ERA and a 3-0 record at the Beijing Games, while Osterman has earned two Olympic medals – one gold and one silver – two world championship gold medals and two Pan American Games gold medals.

Team USA qualified for the Tokyo Games by winning the 2018 WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship in Chiba, Japan. The remaining five competitors are No. 2 Japan, No. 10 Italy (qualified at the Europe/Africa Qualifier), No. 3 Canada and No. 5 Mexico (qualified at the Americas Qualifier), and No. 8 Australia (qualified at the Asia/Oceania Qualifier).
The 2020 U.S. Olympic Softball Team roster was selected following the October 2019 Olympic Team Selection Trials. Selection Criteria can be found here.

Preparations for the Tokyo Games have already begun with the naming of the team and the U.S. Women’s National Team kicking off the “Stand Beside Her” tour, presented by Major League Baseball (MLB). The tour is currently on hold due to COVID-19, but more information can be found by visiting StandBesideHerTour.com.