USA Softball tops Australia in walk-off fashion

July 25th, 2021

Amanda Chidester, take a bow.

Chidester slapped a walk-off two-run single in the eighth inning to help Team USA stay undefeated in the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday, taking down Australia in a 2-1 ballgame.

The first run of the game didn’t come until extra innings, as both Monica Abbott of the U.S. and Tarni Stepto of Australia turned in terrific performances in the circle through the first seven innings. Abbott went the distance for the second time in the tournament, striking out 13 and allowing three hits over eight frames.

Team USA’s pitching staff had yet to allow a run in Tokyo until Australia’s Jade Wall worked a walk with the bases loaded. Collectively, Abbott and Cat Osterman still hold a 0.00 ERA in the Olympics, however, as the run that came in to score was the runner placed on second base to start the extra frame.

Stepto tossed seven scoreless innings of her own with three strikeouts before allowing the walk-off hit to Chidester with no outs in the eighth.

Haylie McCleney reached base four times on the day for Team USA, going 2-for-2 with a triple and two walks at the top of the lineup. She came around to score the winning run from second following a single to lead off the inning.

Janie Reed and Bubba Nickles each had a hit and Team USA drew six walks, but they couldn’t break through until extras.

The U.S. will face Japan in its final game of the group stage on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET. The matchup will likely determine who gets home-field advantage for the gold medal game, as Japan will face Canada at 1:30 a.m. ET on July 25 to try and stay undefeated as well.