Tokyo 2020: Daily Pac-12 guide to the Olympic Games (July 21)
While the Opening Ceremony will take place early Friday morning (4 a.m. PT), competition in Tokyo officially began on Tuesday evening and Pac-12 athletes made an impact as the competitions for softball and women’s soccer got underway.
Back in the Olympics for the first time since 2008, the Pac-12 is responsible for 22.2 percent of all softball Olympians in Tokyo (20 of 90), including eight on Team USA and six on Mexico’s roster.
United States 2 - Italy 0
The United States, which took home gold in 1996, 2000 and 2004 and silver in 2008, opened its Olympics with a 2-0 victory over Italy. CALIFORNIA alumna Valerie Arioto led off the fourth inning with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from WASHINGTON’s Ali Aguilar and scored the first run on a Michelle Moultrie single.
The Americans added an insurance run in the fifth courtesy of a sacrifice fly from OREGON’s Janie Reed as Cat Osterman and Monica Abbott combined for a one-hit shutout. ARIZONA’s Giulia Koutsoyanopulos started in center field for Italy.
Game 1 ✓
Team USA 🇺🇸 returned to the Olympic stage in shutout fashion with 2-0 win over No. 9 Italy 👏
The quest to the #TokyoOlympics Gold Medal continues TOMORROW!
— USA Softball Women's National Team 🇺🇸 (@USASoftballWNT) July 21, 2021
Canada 4 - Mexico 0
Canada knocked off Mexico, 4-0, to close out the day’s softball action behind the efforts of three Huskies. Victoria Hayward batted in the leadoff spot, went 2-for-4 and scored a pair of runs, Jenn Salling had two hits in two at bats and two RBI, including a solo home run in the third inning, and Danielle Lawrie pitched the final two innings to earn the save.
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 21, 2021
Chelsea Gonzales (ARIZONA STATE), Anissa Urtez (UTAH) and Sashel Palacios (ARIZONA STATE) all saw action for Mexico. Dallas Escobedo (ARIZONA STATE) got the start in the circle and lasted four innings before she was relieved by ARIZONA’s Taylor McQuillin, who pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief.
Japan 8 - Australia 1
Australia lost to host Japan, 8-1, to begin the day. OREGON STATE’s Tarni Stepto started and had two at bats as the designated player for the Australians and pitched an inning.
Sweden 3 - United States 0
The United States got off to an inauspicious start, dropping its Olympic opener to Sweden, 3-0, to snap its 44-match unbeaten run. Five from the Pac-12 were in Vlatko Andonovski’s starting XI: Cal’s Alex Morgan, STANFORD’s Kelley O’Hara and Christen Press, and UCLA’s Abby Dahlkemper and Sam Mewis. The Cardinal’s Tierna Davidson came on as a late substitute and played the final 10 minutes.
The U.S. will attempt to bounce back when it plays New Zealand on Saturday at 4:30 a.m. PT.
Australia 2 - New Zealand 1
The Football Ferns are also coming off a loss to Australia (2-1), in which Golden Bears Betsy Hassett and Daisy Cleverley lined up for New Zealand. Hassett played the full 90 minutes, starting at right wing while Cleverley joined the action as a 68th-minute substitute.
Canada 1 - Japan 1
UCLA’s Jessie Fleming started in the midfield for Canada, had one shot and played every minute in a 1-1 draw with Japan. The Canadians are next in action against Chile at 12:30 a.m. PT on Saturday morning.
Wednesday, July 21
Softball: United States vs. Canada – 5 p.m. PT – Watch on NBCSN
- USA: Ali Aguilar (WASH), Valerie Arioto (CAL), Ally Carda, (UCLA), Rachel Garcia (UCLA), Dejah Mulipola (ARIZ), Bubba Nickles (UCLA), Janie Reed (OREGON), Delaney Spaulding (UCLA)
- Canada: Victoria Hayward (WASH), Danielle Lawrie (WASH), Jenn Salling (WASH)
Softball: Mexico vs. Japan – 8 p.m. PT – Watch on NBCSN
- Mexico: Dallas Escobedo (ASU), Chelsea Gonzales (ASU), Taylor McQuillin (ARIZ), Danielle O'Toole (ARIZ), Sashel Palacios (ASU), Anissa Urtez (UTAH)
Softball: Australia vs. Italy – 11 p.m. PT – Watch on NBCSN
- Australia: Gabbie Plain (WASH), Tarni Stepto (OSU)
- Italy: Giulia Koutsoyanopulos (ARIZ)