Women's National Team picks up two wins over Toyota Red Terriers in exhibition doubleheader

July 31, 2018, 10:46 p.m. (ET)

Iwakuni, Japan — Closing out the end of their five-day training in Iwakuni, the USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) picked up two wins over the Toyota Red Terriers in an exhibition doubleheader Tuesday night at Kizuna Stadium. 

 

Game One: USA 8, Toyota 1

Box Score

 

Team USA struck first after Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) was issued a leadoff walk, stole second, and was brought home on a double from Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.). With Monica Abbott (Salinas, Calif.) in the pitching circle, it was a three-up, three-down inning as Toyota’s offense was retired in the bottom half of the frame.

 

The Red, White and Blue maintained their 1-0 lead until the bottom half of the third where Toyota tied the ballgame after a one-out triple put a runner on third who was brought home on a groundout at first. After a walk put a runner on, Danielle O’Toole (Upland, Calif.) then entered the game and stranded Toyota at first to close out the inning.

 

Thanks to a RBI double from Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) and home runs from Delaney Spaulding (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) and Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.), the U.S. took the lead back to regain control of the game.

 

O’Toole and the U.S. defense continued to do work, retiring the side in the fourth and fifth innings to keep Toyota at one. 

 

The U.S. sealed their victory after scoring two in the sixth after a double and single from Spaulding and Stewart, respectively, put Team USA atop, 8-1. Kelly Barnhill (Marietta, Ga.) entered to pitch the final inning and closed out the game.

 

Spaulding was 2-for-3 at the plate and collected 4 RBI, while Stewart also finished 2-for-3 with 2 RBI. The pitching staff of Abbott, O’Toole and Barnhill combined for eight strikeouts and allowed one hit in Team USA’s 8-1 (six innings) win.

 

Game Two: USA 10, Toyota 3

Box Score

 

The U.S. bats stayed hot in Game 2 of their doubleheader with the Toyota Red Terriers, plating nine runs in the first two innings. Back-to-back one-out doubles from Spaulding and Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) plated two runs for the Red, White and Blue, while an error to follow put runners on the corners. Moultrie then doubled to center field to score an additional two and extend the U.S. lead, 4-0. Team USA starting pitcher, Keilani Ricketts (San Jose, Calif.) induced a groundout before a pair of strikeouts brought the U.S. back up the to plate. 

 

Three straight singles from Janie Reed (Placentia, Calif.), Kirsti Merrit (Lake Penasoffkee, Fla.) and Aguilar quickly loaded the bases before Spaulding doubled to right field to bring home two. Arioto followed with a three-run shot to extend the lead, 9-0.

 

Despite Toyota scoring two of their own in the bottom half of the second, the U.S. did not waiver and kept their lead, adding a run off a RBI single from Arioto in the top of the third.

 

Rachel Garcia (Palmdale, Calif.) entered for Ricketts in the bottom half of the frame and fanned all three batters to shutdown Toyota at the plate.

 

Barnhill entered in the bottom half of the fifth for what would be the final inning of the game. Despite Toyota plating a run off a sac fly, Team USA claimed their second victory of the night, 10-3 in five innings.

 

Arioto was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate while Spaulding and Merritt each went 2-for-3, with eight RBI combined. Ricketts collected three strikeouts, walked two and allowed two runs in the opening two innings. Garcia issued five strikeouts and allowed one walk over two innings, while Barnhill struck out two and allowed one hit in the final inning of play.

 

Team USA will now travel to Chiba, Japan where they will join the 15 other participating countries for the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) World Championship Opening Ceremony, set for August 2 at 6:30 p.m. JST.

 

Team USA will look to defend their Gold Medal finish at the 2016 World Championship in Surrey, B.C., Canada. The WNT opens the WBSC World Championship against Mexico on August 3 at 12:30 p.m. JST (August 2 at 10:30 p.m. CT). The Red, White and Blue will also play Chinese Taipei, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Puerto Rico and South Africa as part of preliminary round-robin action before heading into the playoff rounds.

 

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.