NORTHRIDGE, Calif. –– Six members of the Red, White and Blue had a multi-hit day at the plate as the USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) picked up a 9-0 shutout win over California State University, Northridge (CSUN) on the “Stand Beside Her” tour, presented by Major League Baseball (MLB). The U.S. offense combined for 17 hits in the 10-inning exhibition contest, including two home runs off the bats of Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.) and Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif.) and a triple from Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.).
Team USA wasted no time in getting the offense going as Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) led off the game with a single to left field before advancing to third on an infield single by Janie Reed (Placentia, Calif.). Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) followed suit with a single of her own to score McCleney and put runners on second and third for Team USA. A walk to Aguilar would load the bases for Delaney Spaulding (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) who ripped a line drive to right field to plate two followed by an RBI groundout from Stewart and a double from Aubree Munro (Brea, Calif.) to give Team USA an early 5-0 lead.
Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas) got the start in the circle for the U.S., allowing the first two CSUN batters to reach base on a hit-by-pitch but quickly fired back with a strikeout, fly out and ground out to end the inning. Team USA put four runners on base in their next two at-bats but failed to bring anything across the plate while Osterman kept the Matadors off the board through the bottom of the third.
The top of the fourth brought in another run for the U.S. after Spaulding singled with two outs followed by a line drive triple from Stewart to extend the U.S. lead, 6-0. Osterman continued dealing in the bottom of the frame, fanning three-straight Matador batters to send Team USA back to the plate. The U.S. went down in order in the top of the fifth while Keilani Ricketts (San Jose, Calif.) entered the circle for Team USA in the bottom of the inning and quickly issued two ground outs and a strike out to keep CSUN off the board.
Team USA added to their lead in the top of sixth after Chidester got things going with a leadoff single to left field followed by home runs from Aguilar and Carda to extend the U.S. lead, 9-0. The Matadors managed to get a runner on base in the bottom of frame, but a fly out and a stellar double-play would leave them scoreless. The U.S. offense remained quiet through the seventh inning until Spaulding broke the silence with a two-out single in the top of the eighth, but a ground out would leave her stranded. Training player, Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif.) took over pitching duties in the bottom of the eighth for Team USA, allowing two Matador runners to reach base on back-to-back singles, but another U.S. double-play and a ground out to Aguilar would end the inning.
The U.S. put a pair of runners on base in the ninth and tenth innings but were unable to bring anything around to score while Wagner took care of business in the circle to secure the 9-0 shutout win for Team USA.
The U.S. pitching staff tallied 17 strikeouts in the 10-inning win while limiting the CSUN offense to three hits. Osterman led the way with nine strikeouts in four innings followed by Wagner with six and Ricketts with two. At the plate, Aguilar, Carda, Chidester, Munro and Stewart each picked up two hits while Spaulding went 3-for-6.
The WNT concludes the May training camp with an 11-0 record on the “Stand Beside Her” tour, presented by MLB and will continue preparations in the month of June. For more information on the 2021 “Stand Beside Her” tour, presented by MLB, please visit StandBesideHerTour.com.