USA Softball News Team USA posts back-...

Team USA posts back-to-back shutout wins over Italy and Chinese Taipei to improve to 2-0 at 2022 World Games

July 11, 2022, 1:33 a.m. (ET)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Following an evening of inclement weather during last night’s originally scheduled contest against Italy, the U.S. Women’s National Team (WNT) took the field today for its 2022 World Games debut at the Hoover Met Stadium where fans filled the stands for a pair of warm welcomes to Alabama greats Haylie McCleney and Montana Fouts.


The world-ranked No. 1 Team USA came out strong with back-to-back shutout victories over No. 7 Italy (6-0) and No. 6 Chinese Taipei (7-0, six-innings) to put them atop the Group B leaderboard with a 2-0 record. The Red, White and Blue combined for 21 hits and 13 runs while the pitching staff of Monica Abbott, Ally Carda and Fouts shut down their opponents with a total of 28 strikeouts in the two wins.


Game 1

USA 6, Italy 0

Team USA got off to a solid start in its 2022 World Games debut as McCleney led off with a walk followed by a single from Amanda Lorenz to give the Eagles two early baserunners. A one-out walk to Hannah Flippen would set the stage for Kinzie Hansen to drive a bases loaded single up the middle to score McCleney for Team USA’s first run of the game. A fielder’s choice would catch Lorenz out at home, but back-to-back singles from Taylor Pleasants and Michelle Moultrie would keep the rally alive as the U.S. pulled ahead 4-0 after the top of the first.


With Carda in the circle, the Eagles recorded the first out of the inning after a 10-pitch at-bat resulted in a pop out to Charla Echols at third. A single to right field would give Italy a baserunner, but Carda issued a quick strikeout and fly out to leave her stranded and send the game to the second. Both sides were quiet through the next two innings of play, managing only one hit apiece as the game headed to the fourth where Janae Jefferson broke the silence with a leadoff triple. Coming in clutch, McCleney followed suit with a deep sac-fly to plate Jefferson and extend the U.S. lead, 5-0. A two-out double from Echols would look to extend the inning, but a fly out would end the at-bat and send Team USA back to defense where Carda continued to dominate with two strikeouts and a groundout.


With a 5-0 lead in the top of the fifth, Hansen kept things rolling for the Red, White and Blue with a leadoff single to center field followed by Dejah Mulipola’s second hit of the night to advance Hansen 60 feet before a fielder’s choice put runners on the corners for Team USA. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Moultrie sent a sac-fly to center field to score Hansen and put another run on the board for the U.S. before a line out ended the at-bat.


Taking over pitching duties in the bottom of the fifth with a big Roll-Tide welcome from the Alabama crowd, Fouts made quick work of the Italy offense with three consecutive strikeouts to send the U.S. back to the plate. Feeding off the energy, McCleney led off the inning with a single, but the Eagles were unable to muster any runs as they headed back to the field in the sixth.


A two-out walk and an infield error would put runners in scoring position for Italy in the bottom of the frame, but Fouts remained steady in the circle, firing back with a strikeout to end the threat with no damage done. Staying hot at the plate with her third hit of the night, Hansen sent a single to right field in the top of the seventh, but a line out followed by a ground out would leave her stranded. Looking to close out the game, Fouts issued back-to-back strikeouts to start the seventh before Italy managed a two-out single to right in hopes to spark a rally. Unfazed, Fouts zoned in with three quick strikes to shut down the Italy offense and seal the 6-0 U.S. victory.


With a productive day at the plate, McCleney contributed to the U.S. offense with a 1-for-2 performance including a walk and a sac-fly while Hansen racked up three hits in the win followed by Lorenz and Mulipola with two hits apiece. Shining in the circle, Carda and Fouts tallied 14 combined strikeouts through seven innings while allowing a low of three hits in the shutout victory.


Game 2

USA 7, Chinese Taipei 0 (six innings)

Starting in the circle against Chinese Taipei, Abbott took control with a ground out before a bunt single put a runner on first. A strikeout would record the second out of the inning while Mulipola sent a perfect throw to Hannah Flippen at shortstop to catch the runner stealing for the third out of the inning.


The U.S. couldn’t find a gap in the bottom of the frame as three fly outs sent the game to the second inning where Chinese Taipei managed a two-out double, but Abbott dismissed the scoring threat with a ground ball to Jefferson to retire the side.


Drawing a walk and stealing second in the bottom of the frame, Hansen set the stage for Mulipola to drive an RBI single to right field to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead. A walk to Pleasants put another runner on for Team USA as Moultrie forced an infield error with a hard ground ball to score Mulipola followed by a sac-fly from Jefferson to plate another run with the Eagles pulling ahead 3-0.


Three-straight strikeouts from Abbott in the top of the third fueled the U.S. offense in the bottom of the inning as Flippen came up big with a solo shot to left field to extend the U.S. lead. A double from Hansen followed by a single from Mulipola tacked on another run as the game headed to the fourth with the Red, White and Blue up, 5-0.


Continuing to lead the U.S. defense, Abbott issued two more strikeouts and a ground out to record an eight-pitch fourth inning while tallying another three strikeouts in the top of the fifth for a total of 11 K’s through five innings. Team USA managed singles off the bats of McCleney and Lorenz in the fourth and fifth innings, but nothing crossed the plate as the score remained 5-0 headed into the sixth.


Back-to-back strikeouts from Abbott led off the top of the frame before a single to left field gave Chinese Taipei a baserunner – but three straight pitches left the runner stranded at first as Abbott’s fourteenth strikeout of the game sent the U.S. back to the plate. A one-out walk to Pleasants would put a runner on for the Eagles before Moultrie was robbed of a hit thanks to a stellar play by the Chinese Taipei left fielder. With two-outs and a runner at first, Jefferson lined a single through the left side while McCleney followed with a base hit of her own to allow Pleasants to speed home as Team USA came within one of the run-rule with a 6-0 lead. Stepping up to the plate with two runners on, Lorenz sent the second pitch she saw off the center field fence to score Jefferson and claim the 7-0 (six innings) run-rule victory over Chinese Taipei.


With two doubles (Hansen, Lorenz) and one long-ball (Flippen), the U.S. combined for nine hits in the 7-0 victory as Mulipola led the squad with a 2-for-3 performance followed by Lorenz and McCleney with two hits apiece. Fanning 14 batters through six innings, Abbott dominated the Chinese Taipei lineup while allowing only three hits in the shutout victory.


The Red, White and Blue will close out Opening Round tomorrow with a solo contest against No. 3 Canada at 7 p.m. CT. Following Opening Round, the top two teams from each group will advance to the Semifinal Round on Tuesday, July 12 with the Medal Round taking place on Wednesday, July 13. The Semifinal Round and the Medal Round will be broadcasted live on CBS Sports Network. To view current standings between Group A and Group, visit


The softball flagship will feature 21 games across the five day competition with select live stream coverage available on and CBS42. Additional weekly coverage will include nightly highlights, which will be available on CBS Sports Network. Free live stats will be available on


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