YOKOHAMA, Japan – The United States had given up its first run and was two away from losing for the first time in an Olympic softball tournament.
Amanda Chidester stepped up to the plate with two runners and slapped the ball into left field.
“In my head, I’m like: Score! Two points! Two points! Score two!” He remembered. “When I woke up and everyone was running at me, I was like, We did!”
Monica Abbott (2–0) scored 13 runs and threw a three-hitter throughout the 126-pitch game, delivering an unearned run when Jade Wall hit eight pitches to force home with bases loaded into the top of the eighth. For automatic runner.
With pinch-runner Eli Carda as automatic runner in the bottom half, leadoff hitter McIlhenny reached a 1-0 pitch with an infield single against Tarney Steptoe (0-1). McClaney hit a two-hopper to shortstop Claire Warwick, who found her footing before throwing, allowing McIlhenny to come to base for the fourth time in the game. She is batting 727 (8 for 11) and has reached 13 times in 15 plate appearances.
Jenny Reid, wife of major league reliever Jake Reid, sacrificed her fourth in the tournament, placing runners in second and third.
“Give me a strike, and I’m going for it,” Chidester remembered thinking to himself.
She swings on a pitch on the outer half of the plate and sings swiftly behind a diving Warwick. Wall took the ball two steps onto the outfield grass and warmed home, but first baseman Taila Tsitsikorinis cut the throw as Carda and McClaney stood and scored.
Chidester slipped to second place, taking extra base in case a runner ahead of him was ejected. When she got up, she saw teammates running across the field to celebrate.
“Fantastic! Incredible softball,” said Abbott. “So many tense moments. But you live for these moments. You love to compete in these moments.”
Abbott walks six batsmen, two of them intentionally. He has 0.00 ERA and two saves, allowing four hits in 17 innings with 28 strikes and nine walks. Abbott improved his Olympic career to 5–0.
After scoring just seven runs in four matches, the US and Japan (both 4-0) play on Monday in a matchup that will only determine which team bats in the gold medal game, a fifth straight access for the Americans. went.
“We’ve got to throw fire and ice for us right now, and they’re throwing the ball really well,” American coach Ken Erickson said, referring to their nicknames for Abbott and Kat Osterman.
Abbott escaped a base-loaded jam in the sixth.
Australia moved up to eighth after automatic runner Belinda White finished third at the sacrifice of Leigh Godfrey. Stacy Porter was deliberately walked a second time, Tayla Tsitsikronis went, Chelsea Forkin took the third strike, and Wall fouled a pair of pitches 3-2 before taking the inside pitch. He has scored three of Australia’s four runs in the tournament.
Abbott, who turned 36 on Wednesday, and Osterman, 38, are the last remaining players on a team that lost 3-1 to Japan in the 2008 gold medal game in Beijing.
“Hopefully,” Ericsson said, “get back on an airplane to cross the Pacific undefeated.”
Japan 1, Canada 0
Eri Yamada singled out Daniel Lowry (0-1), 34-year-old sister of former major leaguer Brett Lowry, to drive her to victory in the eighth (2-2) against Canada.
Miu Goto (3-0) dismissed six straight batsmen to the relief of Yukiko Ueno, who allowed four hits in six innings.
Japan had base loaded in seventh after a single by Yamada and pinch-hitter Sayaka Mori reached a one-out error by shortstop Janet Leung, who dropped the ball as she pulled out of her glove. After loading the bases after a deliberate walk, Yika Ichiguchi moved to second and Minori Naito popped up.
Yu Yamamoto sacrificed automatic runner Naito, from eighth to third, and a pair of deliberate walks brought up Yamada. The 37-year-old Japan captain hit a single to center line.
Play was delayed for about 14 minutes in the bottom of the fifth when the umpires prevented Canadian manager Mark Smith from bringing in the lorry, saying it was a violation of the substitution rules. Smith protested, and a World Baseball Softball Federation committee ruled in Canada’s favor.
Mexico 5, Italy 0
Dallas Escobedo (1-2) didn’t allow a hit until Laura Vigna scored a single in the sixth with two outs. Escobedo pitched 102 pitches with four strikeouts, no walks and two hit batsmen.
Chelsea Gonzales hit an RBI double in second, Sidney Romeo had a solo homer in third and Anissa Urtez chased Greta Cecchetti (0–3) with a two-run homer in fifth, her second home run of the tournament. Make. Brittany Cervantes greets Alexia Lacatena with another homer.
Mexico (1–3) secured their first Olympic victory. Italy (0-4) have been bowled out 13-0.
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