Osterman, Aguilar lead way in USA victory over Mexico

Osterman, Aguilar lead way in USA victory over Mexico
24/07/2021
Osterman claimed her second win of the tournament and seventh in her Olympic career, becoming USA’s historic leader in wins in Olympic Games history. She has now multiple victories in three different Olympics (two in Athens 2004, three in Beijing 2008).

Cat Osterman pitched six scoreless innings and Ali Aguilar delivered a two-run single in the top of the third to propel USA to their third consecutive win at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The top-ranked nation in the world defeated Mexico by a score of 2-0 and remains unbeaten in the competition. Osterman is now tied with Lisa Fernandez as USA's top-winning pitcher in the Olympic softball history with seven.

Osterman finished with four strikeouts and one walk, while giving up a Victoria Vidales infield hit in the second inning. She got her second win of the tournament, and seventh in her Olympic Games career, tied with Fernandez as USA’s historic leader in wins in the Olympic Games history, who collected seven wins between Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004. In addition, the left-hander has now multiple victories in three different Olympics (two in Athens 2004, three in Beijing 2008 and two in Tokyo 2020).

USA head coach Ken Eriksen has used only two pitchers in the tournament: Left-handers Osterman and Monica Abbott. The two Olympic medallists combined for USA’s third consecutive one-hit shutout in as many games. Today, Osterman pitched six innings and then handled the ball to Abbott, who pitched a clean seventh with three strikeouts to close the game. 

Ali Aguilar’s first hit of the tournament was big for her team. With the bases loaded in the third inning, the second baseman delivered a 2-out, 2-RBI single to center field to give USA their only two runs of the game. She went 2-for-3 for the day.

Meanwhile, USA center fielder Haylie McCleney stayed hot with the bat hitting 2-for-4 with a run scored, totalling 6-for-9 in the Tokyo Olympics for a .666 average. Mexican shortstop Anissa Urtez robbed her another hit with a spectacular diving catch in the fifth inning.

For Mexico, Dallas Escobedo started the game, and was charged with the loss. She tossed two innings with two hits, two runs, two walks and two Ks. She left the game in the top of the third with no outs and runners on first and second, replaced by Danielle O’Toole, who retired the first two batters she faced but couldn’t avoid Aguilar’s tiebreaking hit. 

USA remains on top of the standings with a 3-0 record and two more games to play in the Opening Round; while Mexico, making its Olympic debut, is still looking for their first win in the tournament.

* This article was updated on 25 July with correct information about Osterman becoming USA top winner in the Olympics history. Previously, it was stated that Osterman had surpassed Fernandez as the top-winning pitcher in US Olympic softball history.