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International news: Team USA drops Game 1 of three-game Japan All-Star series after falling 2-1 to hosts




Ally Carda got the start for Team USA. Photo: USA Softball.

The following game summary is courtesy of USA Softball

Despite taking an early lead in the opening game of the 2022 Japan All-Star Series, the Women’s National Team No. World No. 1 USA Softball (WNT) dropped a 2-1 decision to No. 2 Japan after a shutout. The pick allowed the Japanese to claim their first win of the three-game series.

Another close battle between the top-ranked teams, Friday’s game featured solid defense from both teams with the USA coming off four innings with Japanese runners on base while Japan’s pitchers, My gutlimited Team USA’s offense to five hits.

Tokyo Olympic silver medalist and 2022 World Games gold medalist Carda Alley got the start in the circle for the USA, while the initial Team USA Kelly Maxwell, Kathryn Sandercock AND Megan Faraimo Each saw time in the circle in the final three innings of the game. The emphasis of the US offense was Grace Lyons who repeated the Red, White and Blue for the first time tonight with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate followed by Kayla Kowalik, Kiki Milloy AND Maya Brady with one shot each.

The Eagles scored the game’s only run in the top of the second as Brady sent USA’s first hit through the infield to lead off the game before a fielder’s choice. Kinzie Hansen forced him out at second. Taking advantage of a wild pitch and a passed ball with several heads-up base runs, Hansen stole back-to-back bases to put a runner on third with two outs before another passed ball allowed him to quickly at home to give the USA a 1. -0 edge.

Carda came out firing in the bottom of the second, unleashing a 1-2-3 game with two strikeouts and a line drive by Lyons to get Team USA going on offense.

Nodoka Harada threw down for the home team. Photo: Team Japan.

Despite a pair of singles by Lyons and Kowalik to lead off the top of the third, the Eagles were unable to muster anything like a hit, striking out and stranding the runners with the U.S. lead holding steady, 1-0. Carda and the US defense made quick work of the Japanese offense in the bottom of the frame thanks to a pair of groundouts and a diving catch by Lyons to pull the side in order and send the game to the fourth.

After going down in order, Team USA held a 1-0 lead until the bottom of the fourth when Nodoka Harada sent a solo home run out of the park to tie the score, 1-1. Japan followed the long ball with a single to put a runner on, but three-straight groundouts by Carda and Maxwell, who entered the circle with two hits, limited the damage to one run for the Japanese.

Both offenses were stifled in the fifth with the 4-6 pairing of Lyons and Tiare Jennings leather flash for a clutch double play up the middle to send the game into the sixth. The Eagles appeared to ignite a spark in the top of the inning after a leadoff single by Milloy and a sac-bunt by Jennings, followed by back-to-back hits to Baylee Klinger put runners on first and second with one out, but unable to overcome Goto’s catch, the next two USA batters grounded out to strand the runners and put Team USA back on the defensive.

Sandercock took over the hitting duties in the bottom of the frame as the Japanese offense led off the inning with a single and a sac fly to put a runner on second with one out. Another single and a walk would quickly load the bases before Faraimo came on in relief with two big groundouts and a strikeout to pull the game back with the score still tied, 1-1.

Another single from Lyons was all the USA would get in the top of the seventh, before a leadoff triple for the Japanese offense threatened the game-winning run in the bottom of the inning. A Klingler layup would set up the first goal of the tournament, but Faramio’s pick wouldn’t make it in time before the Japanese smuggler slipped in the final run of the game, beating the USA, 2-1.

Marking a one-year celebration of the Tokyo Olympics, the USA and Japan will return to Azuma Stadium on Sunday, August 7 at 14:00 JST (12:00 CT) before wrapping up the three-game series on Monday, August 8 August at 19:00. JST (5 a.m. CT) at Yokohama Stadium, host of the Tokyo Olympic gold medal game.

Returning to the Olympic venues of the 2020 Olympic Games Azuma Stadium and Yokohama Stadium, the Japan All-Star Series has provided an exciting experience for fans since its inception in 2016, where over 31,000 fans filled the Tokyo Dome while 2017 saw 15,000 fans in the stands. at Yokohama Stadium.

Live stats will be available during the remaining two games of the Japan All-Star Series, and fans at home can follow along with recaps and more at




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