Monica Abbott pitches a gem, helps USA beat Canada on day 2 of the Olympics

Monica Abbott pitches a gem, helps USA beat Canada on day 2 of the Olympics
USA defeated her southern border neighbours, 1-0, and improved their record to 2-0.

Monica Abbott pitched a complete game gem, giving up only one hit, to help USA improve to a 2-0 record after today’s victory over Canada, by a score of 1-0. The only run of the game was produced by Amanda Chidester in the fifth inning. 

USA generated opportunities in the first two frames but missed the clutch hit, leaving a total of five runners on base during the game. With the bases loaded in the first US attack, Canada’s starter Sara Groenewegen struck out Michelle Moultrie to end the threat, and one inning later she got Janie Reed on strikes, with runners on second and third.

USA scored the only run of the game in the fifth inning with an RBI single by Amanda Chidester to right field. Haylie McCleney had reached on an infield hit -her second of three hits in the game-, and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Then the US designated player singled hard to right to plate McCleney easily from second.

Canada had the chance to score in the sixth frame, but a great defensive play prevented the tying run to score. With pinch runner Joey Lye on first base, Groenewegen stepped up to the plate as a pinch hitter, and sent an opposite-field line-drive double to the wall. Lye tried to score from first, but center fielder McCleney, second baseman Ali Aguilar and catcher Aubree Munro teamed up to throw her out at home plate with a perfect relay, and keep Canada scoreless. 

It was the only hit Abbott allowed in the game. She completed the shutout with nine strikeouts and three walks. She has not allowed a single run in the tournament after eight innings of work. The loss went to Jenna Caira, who relieved for 2.2 innings, allowing three hits and one run. 

With the win, USA moves to 2-0 in the standings and remains in the hunt for their fourth Olympic gold medal in five editions. Canada stays at 1-1.