Monica Abbott pitched a one-hitter and Haylie McCleney went 3-for-3 and scored the lone run as the U.S. defeated Canada, 1-0, in an Olympic softball game Wednesday in Fukushima, Japan.
McCleney, the U.S. center fielder, started the relay that prevented the tying run from scoring, fielding a double by pinch-hitter Sara Groenewegen, throwing 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 out one, moved to second on a sacrifice by Janie Reed of Placentia and scored on Amanda Chidester’s single.
Abbott struck out nine and walked three.
The U.S. will resume play Friday night, facing Mexico (0-2) in a game set to begin at 10:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time and be televised by cable’s NBC Sports Network.