Women’s National Team defeats Philippines 12-0 to earn fourth-straight shutout win at the WBSC Women’s World Championship

Aug. 06, 2018, 11:23 a.m. (ET)

Chiba, Japan — Team USA’s Danielle O’Toole (Upland, Calif.) started in the circle for the USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) and went the distance to complete the 12-0 (four innings) shutout win at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s World Championship. Paired with stellar pitching, the offense racked up the runs early to claim the run-rule victory and improve to 5-0.


“Our game plan tonight was to go at them hard after they (Philippines) came off a big win last night over the Netherlands,” said Women’s National Team member, Danielle O’Toole. “Watching my teammates be successful at the plate is fun to watch and extremely fun to be a part of. It gets me hyped and it lets me know they’re working hard for me like I’m trying to do for them.”


Hitting in the leadoff spot, Hayle McCleney (Morris, Ala.) singled to left field to start the game, while another single from Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.) one out later put runners on the corners for Team USA. With one out, a deep fly out to right field from Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) brought home McCleney while Aguilar would be stranded at third. Philippines singled twice in the bottom half of the inning but a pair of strikeouts and ground out stopped them from crossing home.


Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Ga.) was hit by a pitch to start off the second and took third after Kasey Cooper (Dothan, Ala.) doubled to left field. With two on and no outs, Aubree Munro (Brea, Calif.) went deep to extend the U.S. lead, 4-0. After a Philippines pitching change, Kirsti Merritt (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.) was issued a walk and would steal second before advancing to third after McCleney drilled one to deep left center. Janie Reed (Placentia, Calif.) grounded out into a fielder’s choice to close out the inning, bringing the U.S. defense back out on the field who managed to shut Philippines down and strand two on base.


The Red, White and Blue scored five runs in the third inning to take a comfortable 9-0 lead over the Philippines. Arioto singled to left field while Delaney Spaulding (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) was issued a walk to put two runners on, while a single from Cooper loaded the bases for Team USA. With the bases loaded, back-to-back walks to Munro and Merritt made it 6-0. McCleney grounded into a fielder’s choice to plate Cooper before two additional runs crossed home after a RBI single from Aguilar and a walk issued to Arioto. Ahead 9-0, the WNT retired the Philippines side in order to close out the third inning. 


It wasn’t long before Team USA put two aboard in the top of the fourth. With two outs, McCleney stepped up to the plate and blasted a fly ball past center field for the second home run of the night for the U.S. On top 12-0, the WNT took that lead into the bottom half where they retired the side and sealed their fourth shutout victory of the tournament. 


The WNT racked up nine hits as McCleney, Aguilar and Cooper all collected multiple hits for the Red, White and Blue. McCleney went 3-for-4 at the plate, driving in four runs, including her home run in the fourth inning. O’Toole earned the win, striking out five batters and allowing just two hits in her four innings of work.


The U.S. returns to the diamond tomorrow, August 7 at 3:30 pm JT (1:30 am CT) to face South Africa. Live stats will be available through USASoftball.comwhile streaming can be accessed by WBSC broadcast and live stream partners.


The softball flagship competition will feature 73 games across 10 days of competition. The top four finishers from each group will advance to the double page playoff round, while nations not advancing will compete in the placement round. The World Championship finale will take center stage on August 12 at 7 pm JST following the bronze medal match at 2 p.m. JST. The top nation will claim the first of five available softball spots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, with Japan qualifying automatically as the host country.


About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 69 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million.  USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch.  USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships.  The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game. 

As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.


About the World Baseball Softball Confederation
Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland -- the Olympic Capital -- the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the world governing body for baseball and softball. WBSC has 202 National Federation and Associate Members in 143 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania, which represent a united baseball/softball sports movement that encompasses over 65 million athletes and attracts approximately 150 million fans to stadiums worldwide annually. 


The WBSC governs all international competitions involving official National Teams. The WBSC oversees the Softball World Championships (Men, Women, U-19 Men, and U-19 Women), Premier12, World Baseball Classic, and Baseball World Cups (U-12, U-15, U-18, U-23 and Women's).


For more information, visit: www.wbsc.org.