TOKYO — Behind the highly effective left arm of Monica Abbott, the top-ranked United States softball workforce sneaked by third-ranked Canada, 1-0, on Thursday at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium.
Abbott tossed a complete-game shutout, permitting only one hit, strolling three and putting out 9. The day earlier than, her fellow American ace Cat Osterman tossed six scoreless innings and struck out 9 whereas surrendering only one hit to Italy. Abbott got here in for the ultimate inning to safe the 2-Zero win.
So in two video games, Osterman, 38, and Abbott, 35 — who each performed within the final Olympic softball event, in 2008 — have mixed to permit simply two hits, surrender three walks and strike out a whopping 21 batters.
Pumping 70-mile-an-hour fastballs, Abbott vexed Canada’s offense all sport on Thursday. And when she did cough up a success within the sixth inning, her teammates got here to the rescue.
With a runner on first base, Canada’s beginning pitcher, Sara Groenewegen, smacked a double into the right-center discipline hole. But heart fielder Haylie McCleney chased down the ball and fired it to second baseman Ali Aguilar, who relayed it to catcher Aubree Munro in time to nab a sliding Joey Lye at house.
The defensive play preserved Abbott’s gem, and Ken Eriksen, the workforce’s head coach, caught together with her for the ultimate inning.
On offense, the U.S. threatened with base runners all through the sport however struggled once more to transform its possibilities. Its lone run got here within the fifth inning, when McCleney reached on a one-out single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Janie Reed.
Facing Jenna Caira, Amanda Chidester slapped a ball to proper discipline for a single that scored McCleney. Standing at first base, Chidester pumped her arms and shouted towards her teammates.
No softball video games are scheduled for Friday because the event shifts to Yokohama Baseball Stadium, nearer to Tokyo. The U.S. will subsequent play on Saturday, going through Mexico. After every workforce performs 5 video games, the highest two groups within the six-team discipline advance to the gold medal sport.