CLEARWATER, Fla. –– Home runs and eagles flying were the name of the game today in Clearwater, Fla. as the U.S. offense erupted with a 7-0 (six innings) run-rule victory in game two of the three-game series against Team Mexico. With three U.S. batters recording home runs, Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas) took care of business in the circle for Team USA, limiting No. 5 Mexico to just two hits while tallying eight strikeouts.
Osterman came out firing, recording two strikeouts and a groundout to shut down the Mexico offense in the top of the first inning, bringing Team USA to plate. Leadoff batter Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) started things off for the U.S. offense with a triple to centerfield followed by a double from Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.) to make it a 1-0 ballgame.
Mexico had their first base runner of the game in the top of the third inning with a single to centerfield, but back-to-back strikeouts from Osterman and a fly out to Hannah Flippen (San Diego, Calif.) kept the Mexico offense at bay for another inning. Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) started the bottom of the third with a single, followed by a two-out home run from Aguilar to extend the U.S. lead, 3-0.
Neither side mustered any runs in the fourth inning despite a two-out double from Flippen, but a home run from Stewart in the bottom of the fifth put the U.S. up by four. Another strong defensive inning from Team USA would leave Mexico scoreless in the top of the sixth to bring the Red, White and Blue back to the plate where they would seal the 7-0 run-rule win with a three-run home run from Flippen to score Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) and Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) who reached base earlier in the inning on a walk and an error.
Leading the U.S. offense was Aguilar, Flippen and Stewart with two hits apiece, including a home run from each. In the circle, Osterman retired eight of 20 batters via a strikeout while limiting the Mexico offense to two hits through six innings.
The U.S. WNT returns to action tomorrow at 11 am ET for the final game of the three-game series against Mexico at Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex. Fans will be allowed inside the ballpark at a limited capacity due to COVID-19. A limited number of tickets are available and can be purchased on USASoftball.com. All fans in attendance will be required to wear a face covering while inside the ballpark. Free live stats and streaming will be available here.
The 18-player roster will be without Rachel Garcia, Dejah Mulipola and Bubba Nickles as well as assistant coaches Laura Berg, Howard Dobson, Tairia Flowers and Heather Tarr who all remain with their respective collegiate teams. Joining Head Coach Ken Eriksen to assist with coaching will be Laura Ricciardone, Kyla Holas and two-time Olympian Kelly Kretschman.
View the 2020-21 U.S. Olympic Softball Team roster
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