Tokyo 2020: Daily Pac-12 guide to the Olympic Games (July 22)
It was all softball for Pac-12 athletes on the second day of the Tokyo Games, as each of the six Olympic teams were in action in the tournament’s opening round.
It bears repeating for a league with as rich of a softball history as the Pac-12: there are six teams in Tokyo vying for gold – Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico, United States – and the Conference has 20 players spread across five of those rosters. Of the 90 softball Olympians on the diamond in Tokyo, nearly a quarter are from the Pac-12, including eight on the United States and six on Mexico. Not bad for a league that has won 24 NCAA championships in the sport all-time, 19 more than any other conference.
Japan 3 – Mexico 2 (8)
UTAH’s Anissa Urtez made history for Mexico in the fifth, smashing a solo shot to center field for the country’s first home run at the Olympics. Mexico qualified for the Games for the first time in Tokyo after not participating in any of the four previous softball tournaments in Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and Beijing.
Urtez’s bomb briefly tied the game, 1-1, before Japan scored once in the bottom of the fifth to inch back ahead. The 2016 All-Pac-12 first teamer again knotted things up with an RBI single in the top of the seventh, but Mana Atsumi's squeeze bunt single with one out in the eighth inning scored automatic runner Eri Yamada and Japan won, 3-2.
ARIZONA’s Danielle O’Toole went the distance for Mexico in the circle, giving up five hits and two earned runs in 7 1/3 innings of work.
United States 1 – Canada 0
The U.S. edged past Canada, 1-0, to move to 2-0 at the Games behind a one-hit shutout from Monica Abbott.
CALIFORNIA’s Valerie Arioto and UCLA’s Delany Spaulding each had one of the seven U.S. hits and OREGON’s Janie Reed factored in the winning run, advancing Haylie McCleney to second with a sacrifice bunt in the top of the fifth. Amanda Chidster stepped into the box next and scored McCleney with a single through the right side.
WASHINGTON’s Ali Aguilar reached based twice after being hit by pitches and UCLA’s Bubba Nickles came on as a pinch hitter in the fifth and played the final three innings in right field.
Victoria Hayward and Jenn Salling of Washington started for the Canadians and fellow Husky Danielle Lawrie pitched the seventh, allowing one hit and striking out one.
Australia 1 – Italy 0
Australia used a second-inning RBI single from Jade Wall to beat Italy, 1-0, and notch its first win in Tokyo. OREGON STATE’s Tarni Stepto grounded out to move Taylah Tsitsikronis to third after her leadoff double and Tsitsikronis would score one batter later.
ARIZONA’s Giulia Koutsoyanopulos started at first base for Italy and led off the sixth inning with a single, one of her team’s four hits in the loss.
Thursday, July 22
Rowing: Men’s Single Sculls Heats – 4:30 p.m. PT – Watch on NBCOlympics.com
- Italy: Gennaro di Mauro (CAL) – Heat 3
Rowing: Women’s Single Sculls Heats – 5:30 p.m. PT – Watch on NBCOlympics.com
- United States: Kara Kohler (CAL) – Heat 1
- Puerto Rico: Veronica Toro Arana (STAN) – Heat 3
Rowing: Women’s Double Sculls Heats – 7 p.m. PT – Watch on NBCOlympics.com
- Italy: Chiara Ondoli (WASH) – Heat 2
Rowing: Women’s Quadruple Sculls Heats – 7:50 p.m. PT – Watch on NBCOlympics.com
- Italy: Valentina Iseppi (WASH) – Heat 2
- France: Marie Jacquet (UCLA) – Heat 2
- United States: Alie Rusher (STAN) – Heat 1
Friday, July 23
Opening Ceremony – 4 a.m. PT – Watch on NBC