TAMPA, Fla. –– Team USA’s Keilani Ricketts (San Jose, Calif.) tossed a nine-strikeout no-hitter as the USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) defeated the University of South Florida (USF) 12-0 (four innings). Capitalizing on eight walks by the USF pitching staff, Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.) and Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) led the U.S offense with two hits apiece while Aubree Munro (Brea, Calif.) and Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif.) each contributed with one hit.
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Team USA wasted no time in getting the offense going as Janie Reed (Placentia, Calif.) and Aguilar led the game off with walks followed by a line drive double to left field from Chidester to score Reed and advance Aguilar to third. Another walk from Hannah Flippen (San Diego, Calif.) would load the bases for the U.S. offense before a fielder’s choice ground ball from Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) would plate another run for the Red, White and Blue. Back-to-back walks and a single from Carda extended Team USA’s lead, 5-0, before a groundout ended the inning to bring the Bulls to the plate for the bottom of the frame. Ricketts quickly issued two strikeouts before a hit-by-pitch put a baserunner on for USF. That proved no harm, though, as Ricketts fired back to force a groundout for the third out of the inning.
The U.S. added four runs to their lead in the top of the second, with Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) starting things off with a leadoff walk followed by a single to right field from Aguilar. Grabbing her second RBI of the night, Chidester singled to left field to plate Arioto and advance Aguilar to second, bringing up Flippen who would lay down a sacrifice bunt to put runners in scoring position for Moultrie. A fielder’s choice slap bunt from Moultrie would score Aguilar followed by a double from Munro to add two runs to the U.S lead, putting them ahead 9-0. Ricketts and the U.S. defense remained solid in the bottom of the second inning, retiring the Bulls in order via two strikeouts and a groundout. Three runs crossed the plate for the U.S. in the top of third inning, followed by a scoreless fourth inning from both squads to seal the 12-0 run-rule victory for Team USA.
The U.S. Women’s National Team returns to the USF Softball Stadium tomorrow, March 13, for a 1 p.m. ET exhibition matchup against the Bulls. Tickets for the games will be limited to a pass list due to COVID-19 restrictions, however live streaming will be provided through ESPN+ with live stats also available on USASoftball.com.
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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