IRVINE, Calif. – The U.S. posted a pair of wins in Irvine, Calif. as the “Stand Beside Her” tour, presented by Major League Baseball (MLB), returned to action in front of a crowd of 2,487 celebrating #InternationalWomensDay. In their first contest of the day, Team USA defeated Cal State San Marcos 9-3 before notching a 9-2 win over UC San Diego in their exhibition doubleheader.
The U.S. bats were hot all day, picking up double-digit hits in both wins with Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.) near perfect in a hot day at the plate. Aguilar drove in eight of the 18 runs scored by Team USA, going 7-for-8 with two home runs. Team USA was also led by Taylor Edwards (Murrieta, Calif.), who hit a grand slam to drive in four runs.
USA 9, Cal State San Marcos 3
How they scored:
Bottom of the first: Team USA scored the first run of the game after a leadoff single by Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.). McCleney stole second and advanced to third on a ground ball before a fielder’s choice by Aguilar brought McCleney home.
Bottom of the second: Three-consecutive singles by Hannah Flippen (San Diego, Calif.), Aubree Munro (Brea, Calif.) and Janie Reed (Placentia, Calif.) loaded the bases for McCleney, who hit a ground ball to second to give Flippen time to score from third.
Bottom of the third: Aguilar led off with a double and moved to third with two outs before Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners. A single to right field by Flippen plated Aguilar, putting Team USA up by three.
Top of the fourth: Cal State San Marcos tied up the game in the top of the fourth after a single, bunt and hit batter loaded the bases with one out. Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif.) struck out her next batter faced for the second out before a double to left brought in three runs.
Bottom of the fourth: Aguilar hit her first home run of the game with two outs, driving in Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) on a ball hit over the centerfield fence.
Bottom of the sixth: Reed legged out a triple on a fly ball hit to right field and a walk to McCleney put runners on the corners. Aguilar hit her second home run of the game, this time over the right field fence. Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) walked and came around to score on a triple to right field by Moultrie to score the final run of the game.
USA 9, UC San Diego 2
How they scored:
Top of the first: UC San Diego got on the board first after a leadoff single and two hit batters with two outs. A wild pitch allowed the runner at third to score, putting Team USA down 1-0.
Bottom of the first: The U.S. responded to an early run by UC San Diego with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame. Aguilar and Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) singled with two outs before a walk to Edwards loaded the bases. A walk to Moultrie plated the first run and a single up the middle by Dejah Mulipola (Garden Grove, Calif.) put Team USA up by one.
Bottom of the second: Team USA broke the game open for good with four more runs in their next at-bat. A string of singles by Bubba Nickles (Merced, Calif.), Aguilar and Chidester loaded the bases for the second time in as many innings until Edwards collected her first grand slam of the tour to put the U.S. up 6-1.
Top of the third: UC San Diego responded with a run in the top of the third with a two-out rally. A double put a runner in scoring position and a single to right field plated the run.
Bottom of the third: The final runs of the game came in the third inning after a walk to Mulipola and back-to-back singles by Flippen and Stewart put runners on each base. With the bases loaded for the third-straight inning, a walk to Nickles brought in a run and a single to center by Aguilar brought in another.
- Aguilar and Edwards lead the team with four home runs each through the tour. Edwards has amassed a 1.500 slugging percentage while Aguilar has a .957 slugging percentage through 16 contests.
- Aguilar and McCleney are nearly unstoppable at the plate. The top two in the offense in batting average, McCleney has reached base in every contest played thus far on the tour while Aguilar is riding a 10-game hit streak with six of those contests being multi-hit games.
- Carda and Keilani Ricketts (San Jose, Calif.) picked up a complete-game win apiece in today’s doubleheader. Carda fanned 10 batters with three hits allowed in her seven-inning performance over Cal State San Marcos while Ricketts struck out six and allowed four hits in the win over UC San Diego.