The World Games 2022 Gives Team USA Softball Opportunity to Avenge Olympic Loss to Japan
This time U.S. has homefield advantage, 8 returning Olympians and 7 SEC stars
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., USA – Can the USA Softball Women’s National Team avenge their heartbreaking gold medal loss to Japan in last summer’s Olympics? We’ll find out when the U.S., Japan and teams from 6 other nations compete at The World Games 2022 (TWG 2022) in Birmingham, Alabama this July.
Eight members from the 2020 U.S. Olympic roster who won the silver medal in Tokyo will be on Team USA at TWG 2022, but this time they’ll get the chance to play for gold medal glory on their home turf. Home field advantage could be an even bigger factor than it normally is in sports, as Team USA includes seven current or former players from teams in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) – and they’ll be playing on the same field that serves as the host of the SEC’s annual softball tournament.
One of Team USA’s returning Olympians is Haylie McCleney, who grew up in the Birmingham area and played softball at the University of Alabama where she was a four-time All-American.
“For me to be able to step back into my hometown, put on a Team USA jersey and play in front of my family and friends, I never really thought I’d get another chance to do it, to be honest. I’m really, really excited,” said McCleney.
Joining McCleney on Team USA is another University of Alabama star, pitcher Montana Fouts, who led the NCAA with 349 strikeouts last season and pitched a perfect game at the Women’s College World Series.
Leading the USA Softball Women’s National Team is Head Coach Heather Tarr, the head coach of the University of Washington’s softball team – a 2009 National Champion and the winningest coach of any sport in the university’s history.
“This roster includes both experience and youth, and I truly believe this will be a team that our fans will love to follow as we compete for a gold medal at the 2022 World Games in Alabama this summer,” said Tarr. “I am so excited to see this team in action and we look forward to building on the foundations laid before us as we enter this era of USA Softball.”
The U.S. and Japan won’t be alone, or course, in their quest for gold at The World Games 2022 in Birmingham. National teams from Australia, Canada, China, Italy, Mexico and Chinese Taipei will be looking to knock off top ranked Team USA and Japan. The Italian team is the reigning European champion in Women’s Softball, and the other national teams competing at TWG 2022 are ranked among the Top 8 teams in the world.
The World Games 2022 Team USA roster is comprised of 11 former student-athletes and seven current athletes from 12 NCAA Division I universities:
- University of Alabama – Montana Fouts, Haylie McCleney
- University of Arizona – Dejah Mulipola
- University of Florida – Charla Echols, Amanda Lorenz, Michelle Moultrie
- UCLA – Ally Carda, Megan Faraimo, Bubba Nickles
- James Madison University – Jailyn Ford
- LSU – Taylor Pleasants
- University of Oklahoma – Kinzie Hansen
- University of Oregon – Gwen Svekis
- University of Tennessee – Monica Abbott
- University of Texas – Janae Jefferson
- University of Washington – Ali Aguilar, Sami Reynolds
- University of Utah – Hannah Flippen
For more about the USA Softball Women’s National Team, including photos of the players, visit https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Softball/Team-USA/Women.
Additional information, including the TWG 2022 softball schedule and action photos, can be found at: https://twg2022.com/sports/softball/.
This information is part of TWG 2022’s “Road to Birmingham” presented by Storyteller Overland.