Cat Osterman threw four strikeouts and allowed one hit on 83 pitches in six scoreless innings to lead Team USA over Mexico at the 2020 Summer Games on Saturday in Yokohama, Japan. Photo by Jade Hewitt, Courtesy of USA Softball
July 24 (UPI) -- Ace pitcher Cat Osterman allowed just one hit over six scoreless innings in her second consecutive start to pitch Team USA to a shutout of Mexico and a perfect 3-0 record at the 2020 Summer Games softball tournament.
Osterman threw four strikeouts and issued one walk on 83 pitches in the 2-0 victory Saturday at Yokohama Baseball Stadium in Yokohama, Japan. Fellow ace Monica Abbott struck out three of the final four batters in the seventh frame to earn her second save.
Osterman, who came out of retirement to pitch for Team USA, is 2-0 through two starts, with just two hits allowed, one walk issued and 13 strikeouts through 12 scoreless innings.
With the win, the Americans became the first team of the opening round to win three games in the six-team, round-robin tournament. The Top 2 teams in the standings qualify for the gold medal game.
Saturday's game stayed scoreless through two innings. Team USA the broke the tie in the third. Mexico starter Dallas Escobedo walked catcher Dejah Mulipola to start the frame. Leadoff hitter Haylie McCleney slapped a single to left field in the next at-bat.
Escobedo retired left fielder Janie Reed via strikeout and forced right fielder Amanda Chidester to fly out in the next two at-bats. She followed with an intentional walk to first baseman Valerie Arioto.
Team USA second baseman Ali Aguilar then ripped clutch single between first and second base, which brought in the only two runs of the game.
Osterman, who retired the final 15 batters she faced, dominated Mexico down the stretch. Abbott needed just 12 pitches to strikeout the final three hitters.
Aguilar and McCleney recorded two hits apiece for Team USA. The Americans face Australia in their next game at 9 p.m. EDT Saturday in Yokohama. That game airs on CNBC.
They battle host Japan in their final first-round game at 9 p.m. EDT Sunday on USA.
France goalkeeper Paul Bernardoni can't stop a goal from Mexico forward Uriel Antuna (not seen) in a Men's Group A soccer match during the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games on July 22. Photo by Bob Strong/UPI | License Photo