Texas cat Osterman strikes at 9, USA leads Italy in softball at Olympics – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Cat Osterman looked forward, not back, as the United States began its quest to regain the Olympic softball gold, 13 years after losing the championship game.

A 38-year-old southpaw and one of the two remaining players from 2008, Osterman threw a six-innings and nine innings to beat Italy 2-0 on Wednesday in scorching heat and withered humidity as the Olympic Games were starting.

“Today was today,” she said. “If I use ’08 as a motivation, then I’m selfish. It’s not about me. It is not a silver medal that happened. It’s about this team and allowing these athletes younger than me to live an Olympic dream and hopefully reach the top step of the podium. So today’s day was totally dedicated to how we are going to beat Italy and how am I going to help this team get started.

Michelle Moultrie scored a single run in the fourth inning for the top-ranked United States, who lost the title to Japan 3-1 at the 2008 Beijing Games. Janie Reed, wife of Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Jake Reed, added a sacrifice fly in the fifth.

“There’s a lot going on just trying to get into the rhythm of: I’ve always done this. It’s the same game I’ve always played, ”said Moultrie, a 31-year-old outfielder who joined the national team in 2011.

Osterman walked none, hit two batters and gave his only hit to Andrea Filler, a single leading in the fourth. The last remaining player of the 2004 gold medalists and throwing two and a half months before her scheduled retirement, Osterman improved to 6-1 in Olympic play with 66 strikeouts in 38 innings.

“The body does not recover as quickly,” she said. “Coachie likes to remind me sometimes that I’m not that flexible so I have to adjust my throws a bit. But I think the most important thing is my mentality and my competitiveness has remained the same. “

Monica Abbott, a 35-year-old southpaw who relieved in the 2008 gold medal game, struck out the side in the seventh for the save. She could start Thursday morning’s game against Canada, which is part of a series of Olympics played without supporters.

“It’s kind of sad that there can’t be spectators, especially foreign spectators,” Abbott said. “It’s an event that doesn’t happen all the time, so it’s disappointing not to have people in the stands – but also not to have Japanese fans when Japan is such a softball-loving country. . “

The players sweated pounds on the artificial turf.

“We trained in Midland, Texas where the turf was 150 degrees,” said US coach Ken Eriksen. “So we are ready for Fukushima at 145 degrees.”

Loser Greta Cecchetti, a Texas A&M Corpus Christi pitcher, allowed two runs and four hits in four or more innings.

Valerie Arioto led the fourth with an inside shot to the middle, beating second baseman Andrea Filler’s throw. Ali Aguilar sacrificed and Moultrie scored a single on the artificial turf in front of Filler and into right field, sending Arioto slipping through the plate.

Alexia Lacatena, an 18-year-old from Stanhope, New Jersey, who will pitch for the University of Kentucky next spring, was relieved and allowed a sacrifice to Reed, whose husband made his league debut on July 6. and played six matches. before being optioned Tuesday at Triple-A in Oklahoma City.

Italy’s last nine hitters were called out in order.

“In 2008, we didn’t have a bad tournament,” said Osterman. “We just had a game that didn’t go our way.”

JAPAN 8, AUSTRALIA 1

Yukiko Ueno calmed down after a shaky start to allow two hits in 4 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts, and host Japan beat Australia in the first event of the Olympics.

Ueno, 39, defeated the United States in the 2008 gold medal game.

Minori Naito and Saki Yamazaki hit two-run homers against loser Kaia Parnaby, and Yu Yamamoto, who had three RBIs, added a two-run drive against Tarni Stepto in the fifth which ended the game under one. rout rule.

CANADA 4, MEXICO 0

Sara Groenewegen was called out after four innings without a hitting from a double combined hitter, and Jenn Salling produced two runs.

Groenewegen, the 2015 Big Ten Player of the Year and two-time Big Ten Pitcher of the Year in Minnesota, struck out three strikes and walked one for the win. She was withdrawn after 54 throws.

Jenna Caira, who played for Syracuse, allowed Suzannah Brookshire’s single to enter the shortstop hole with a fifth out. Danielle Lawrie, the 34-year-old sister of former major league infielder Brett Lawrie, finished off both hitters, giving up Tatyana Forbes’ single on a helicopter down the right side before the sixth.

Kaleigh Rafter and Salling had RBI singles in the first loser Dallas Escobedo, and Salling’s home run made it 3-0 in the third. Kelsey Harshman, who played for Wisconsin, added a single with a 0-2 score in the fourth.

Escobedo allowed four runs, seven hits and five walks in four innings for Mexico, who made their Olympic softball debut.


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