Tampa, Fla. –– The USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) continued their “Stand Beside Her” tour, presented by Major League Baseball (MLB), dominance with an 8-0 shutout victory over the Bulls. Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas) and Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif.) took control in the circle, combining for 16 strikeouts while the U.S. offense also came alive as eight batters recorded a hit in the win.
Team USA had their first runner of the game in the top of first inning with a two-out walk from Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) but was unable to get on the board while Osterman came out firing in the bottom of the frame with three-straight strikeouts. A 1-2-3 second inning from both squads kept the score knotted, 0-0, before Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) blasted a solo home run to give USA a one run lead in the top of third. Continuing to slay in the circle, Osterman retired the Bulls in order in the bottom of the frame to bring Team USA back to the plate.
Back-to-back singles from Moultrie and Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) would put two runners on for Team USA in the top of fourth, but two ground outs and a strikeout would end the at-bat. Osterman and the U.S. defense retired the next three USF batters via two strikeouts and a fly out in the bottom of the fourth, keeping the Bulls off the bases for four-straight innings. Team USA added to their lead in their next at-bat, taking advantage of a leadoff double from Stewart and a single from Janie Reed (Placentia, Calif.). A sac-fly from McCleney would plate Stewart before a two-run home run from Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.) put the U.S. on top, 4-0.
Carda took over pitching duties in the bottom of the fifth, retiring the side in order with two ground outs and a strikeout. Unable to continue the offensive rally, the Bulls quieted Team USA in the top of sixth while Carda and the U.S. defense returned the favor in the bottom of the frame with a fly out and two strikeouts. The U.S. offense came alive in the top of the seventh, plating four runs off of a sac-fly from Chidester and base hits from Carda and Hannah Flippen (San Diego, Calif.) to put them ahead, 8-0, with three outs remaining in the game. USF got their first hit of the game in the bottom of the seventh, but a ground out and two strikeouts from Carda would seal the win for the Red, White and Blue.
Osterman struck out 11 batters in the contest, allowing just one USF batter to make contact with a foul ball fly out to Chidester while Carda fanned five batters in three innings of work.
Team USA will return to action tomorrow at 3pm ET for the final game against USF at the USF Softball Stadium. Tickets for the game 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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