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Tokyo 2020: Daily Pac-12 guide to the Olympic Games (July 24)

Jul 24, 2021
Jade Hewitt/Courtesy of USA Softball


Saturday’s U.S. softball victory over Mexico featured a load of Pac-12 talent - 14 players across the two teams competed at Pac-12 schools.

Mexico fielded six Pac-12 athletes – Dallas Escobedo (ARIZONA STATE), Chelsea Gonzales (ARIZONA STATE), Taylor McQuillin (ARIZONA), Danielle O'Toole (ARIZONA), Sashel Palacios (ARIZONA STATE), Anissa Urtez (UTAH).

Team USA features eight Pac-12 athletes Ali Aguilar (WASHINGTON), Valerie Arioto (CALIFORNIA), Ally Carda, (UCLA), Rachel Garcia (UCLA), Dejah Mulipola (ARIZONA), Bubba Nickles (UCLA), Janie Reed (OREGON), Delaney Spaulding (UCLA).

Team USA took the lead in the third inning on an Aguilar RBI single, on their way to a 2-0 victory, their third straight.

Team USA and Japan are the two remaining undefeated softball teams in the Games. If Team USA wins a gold medal this year it will be their first Olympic gold since 2004, a dominant performance in which they went 9-0 and broke eighteen Olympic records. 

Tokyo Talk: Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (USC) is a three-time Olympic gold medalist competing in her fifth Olympic Games. On Saturday, Hosszu qualified for the finals in the women’s 400m individual medley race. 

Hosszu, the world record holder for the 400m individual medley, needs three gold medals to break the Hungarian record for most individual career gold medals. 

Hali Flickinger, a volunteer assistant swimming coach at ARIZONA STATE, will compete for Team USA in the women’s 400m individual medley finals, her second Olympic games. 

In 2019, Flickinger moved to Arizona, looking for a new training environment to prepare for the Olympics. She trains with Arizona State swimming and diving head coach Bob Bowman, the longtime coach of Michael Phelps who coached Team USA in Rio.

Looking Ahead: Team USA Softball looks to extend its win streak to four games when they take the field against Australia at 9 p.m. ET. 

Quote of the Day: “Obviously I want to come home with a medal for the United States. Whatever happens, happens: I'll do my best but of course, I want to be on top of the podium for the U.S.” – Hali Flickinger, who swims Sunday in the women’s 400m individual medley finals.

Prince James Story is a journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a collaboration between the Pac-12 Conference and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.