Alabama Alum Haylie McCleney Leads Team USA to 2020 Olympic Bid, Second-Straight WBSC Title
Former Alabama star Haylie McCleney led the USA Women’s National Team to its second-straight World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) World Championship, securing a bid for the 2020 Olympics in the process.
As Team USA’s starting center fielder, McCleney led the offense at 13-for-26 (.500) over its run of 10 undefeated games. She scored a run in all but one game and earned a hit in eight of the 10. She drove in four RBIs as part of a 3-for-4 day with two runs against the Philippines on Aug. 6, finishing a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. She also had multi-hit performances against the Netherlands (Aug. 4), South Africa (Aug. 7) and in the championship game against Japan (Aug. 12).
McCleney and Team USA secured its title and a bid for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in dramatic fashion with a pair of exciting walk-off wins over host Japan. An eighth-inning RBI single capped a 4-3 comeback victory in the teams’ first meeting on Sunday before Team USA had to rally twice in extra innings in game two, eventually scoring three runs in the bottom of the 10th to win, 7-6.
The United States is the second softball team so far to qualify for the 2020 Olympics, following an automatic bid to the host national Japan. The eventual field of six will be filled out following three more regional qualifying events next summer.
McCleney and Team USA will have some time off before returning to Japan for the Japan Cup Oct. 26-Nov. 5, which will mark the end of their competitive season.
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