The U.S. softball team is set to resume play in the Tokyo Olympics Friday night, California time, facing a Mexican squad that includes three players from Los Angeles County and two from Orange County.
Pitcher Taylor McQuillin was the 2014 Gatorade National Player of the Year when she led Mission Viejo High School to the Southern Section Division 2 championship as a junior. The left-hander pitched for the University of Arizona from 2016-19 with an 80-32 record and 1.95 ERA.
McQuillin is legally blind in her left eye due to the congenital eye movement disorder Duane syndrome and also has partial hearing loss in her left ear. Before age 5 she underwent multiple surgeries to correct her vision, without success.
As a result of her visual and hearing impairment, her balance was affected as a child, and she was encouraged to take up sports to improve her coordination and balance.
McQuillin pitched 1 2/3 innings of shutout relief in Mexico’s 4-0 loss to Canada on Tuesday, allowing two hits, striking out two and walking one.
Second baseman Chelsea Gonzales was the 2011 and 2013 MVP of the Trinity League while playing for Rosary Academy in Fullerton and a first-team All-Pac-12 Conference selection as an Arizona State senior in 2017.
Catcher Brittany Cervantes helped lead Chatsworth-based Chaminade College Preparatory to the 2006 and 2007 Southern Section Division IV championships. She played for the University of Kentucky from 2009-12, setting the school career home run record.
Shortstop Anissa Urtez was the Press-Telegram’s 2012 Player of the Year as a junior at Downey High School, hitting .577 with a .990 slugging percentage. She was a first-team All-Pac-12 Conference selection as a University of Utah junior in 2016.
Urtez is engaged to U.S. catcher Amanda Chidester.
“We don’t know each other when we’re on the field,” Urtez said in a 2020 interview with the LGBTQ sports news website Outsports. “It’s game on.”
Third baseman Amanda Sanchez was a 2013 and 2014 all-area selection by the San Gabriel Valley Tribune while playing for Bishop Amat High School in La Puente. She was a second-team All-Southeastern Conference selection in 2019 while playing for LSU as a graduate transfer after playing three seasons at Missouri.
Mexico lost to Japan, 3-2, in eight innings Wednesday, dropping to 0-2.
The game from Yokohama Baseball Stadium is set to begin at 10:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time and be televised by cable’s NBC Sports Network.
The U.S. defeated Canada, 1-0, Wednesday as Monica Abbott pitched a one-hitter and Haylie McCleney went 3-for-3 and scored the lone run in Fukushima, Japan.
McCleney, the U.S. center fielder, started the relay that prevented the tying run from scoring in the sixth inning. She fielded a double by pinch-hitter Sara Groenewegen, threw to second baseman Ali Aguilar, who threw to catcher Aubree Munro of Brea, who tagged out pinch-runner Joey Lye, who was attempting to score from first.
The U.S. (2-0) scored in the fifth. McCleney singled with one out, moved to second on a sacrifice by Janie Reed of Placentia and scored on Chidester’s single.
Abbott struck out nine and walked three.
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