Alabama’s Haylie McCleney Helps America Earn the Silver Medal
The United States softball team came up short in the gold medal game on Tuesday morning against Japan. The Japanese defeated the Americans 2-0 in the gold medal game after losing to Team USA in the final game of the group stage, 2-1.
The United States were led by former Alabama Crimson Tide outfielder, four-time All American Haylie McCleney. The Morris, Al. native was instrumental in the American's 5-0 group stage record.
Despite going 0-for-3 in the gold medal game, McCleney finished the tournament batting .529 with nine hits on 17 at-bats. She scored four runs and drew four walks from the leadoff spot to spark the United States offense. Her offensive contribution was paramount to Team USA's success as the team only mustered nine runs on 27 hits throughout the entire tournament.
McCleney is just the second Alabama softball alum to earn an Olympic medal following Kelly Kretschman earning gold in 2004 and silver in 2008. Softball has not been in the Olympics since 2008.
With the silver medal Team USA's now five total softball medals are the most of any nation however Japan's victory gives it three gold medals in a row having also won in 2004 and 2008.
Japan's Yukiko Ueno shut the United States out and earned the victory for Japan, Ueno was Japan's gold medal winning pitcher in 2008 as well. Ueno struck out five batters in the gold medal game, however it was Miu Goto in 6th inning relief duty who struck out McCleney for the Alabamian's only strikeout of the tournament.
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