USA Softball News Team USA posts 5-3 c...

Team USA posts 5-3 come-from-behind victory over No. 5 Mexico in three-game series finale

March 10, 2021, 4:20 p.m. (ET)

CLEARWATER, Fla. –– The world-ranked No. 1 U.S. Women’s National Team overcame a two-run deficit to post a 5-3 win over No. 5 Mexico in the three-game series finale, improving to 3-0 on the 2021 “Stand Beside Her” tour, presented by Major League Baseball (MLB). The game was scoreless through the first four innings until Team Mexico got on the board in the top of fifth, followed by a five-run sixth inning from Team USA to take the lead. U.S. pitchers Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif.) and Keilani Ricketts (San Jose, Calif.) held the Mexico offense to just three hits with two strikeouts apiece while the Team USA offense combined for seven hits.
 
Carda got the start in the circle for Team USA, retiring the first three batters she faced in order to bring leadoff batter Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) to the plate, where she singled on a ground ball to centerfield followed by a double from Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.). A one-out walk from Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) would load the bases for Team USA, but a double play up the middle would end the inning before the U.S. could muster any runs.
 
Mexico had their first base runner of the game in the top of the second inning with a leadoff walk, but a diving double play from Chidester followed by a groundout to Arioto would send Team USA back to the plate for the bottom of the frame. A single from Hannah Flippen (San Diego, Calif.) would put a baserunner on for the U.S. but three ground outs would keep the game scoreless through two innings.
 
With both offenses quiet through the third and fourth innings, Team Mexico took the lead in the top of the fifth with a two-run home run to left field, but two strikeouts from Carda and a fly out to Arioto would end the rally. A two-out triple from McCleney would put the Mexico lead in jeopardy, but a fly ball to third base would leave Team USA at bay. Ricketts took over pitching duties for the U.S. in the top of the sixth, forcing three groundouts to send Team USA back to offense with six outs remaining in the game.
 
A leadoff single from Chidester followed by a single from Edwards would put runners in scoring position for Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.), who used her speed to beat out a bunt and load the bases for Flippen. Coming in clutch, Flippen sent a line drive to left field to score Chidester and Edwards with Moultrie and Flippen advancing home on throwing errors, putting the U.S. on top, 4-2. McCleney added to the U.S. lead with a solo home run to right field before a strikeout ended the inning with Team USA ahead, 5-2. A home run from Mexico in the top of the seventh would cut the U.S. lead to two, but a fly out and two strikeouts from Ricketts would seal the 5-3 victory for Team USA.
 
Leading the U.S. offense was McCleney, going 3-for-4 at the plate with a triple and a home run while Arioto, Chidester, Edwards and Flippen each contributed with one hit apiece. 
 
Team USA will be back in action March 12-14 as they take on the University of South Florida (USF) in three exhibition matchups followed by a solo contest against the University of Florida on March 16.
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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
 
Media interested in acquiring additional information should contact Morgan Palmer (mpalmer@usasoftball.com).