Aug. 9, 2015
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Current Alabama outfielder Haylie McCleney and former pitcher Jaclyn Traina wrapped up their summer with Team USA in Okagi, Gifu, Japan over the weekend, winning the Japan Cup by defeating the host Japanese team 2-1 in extra innings on Sunday.
Team USA won the first of its four games at the tournament with a 7-0 shutout over Australia on Aug. 7, as the pitching staff combined for a six inning no-hitter. Traina ultimately earned the win, pitching 2.0 innings with a pair of strikeouts while McCleney went 2-2 with a run scored. Team USA dropped its second game of the weekend to Japan, 3-0, but rebounded with a 5-3 comeback win in game three over Chinese Taipei. McCleney knocked in an RBI single to draw Team USA within one run and later scored on a go-ahead home run by Michigan infielder Sierra Romero.
That set up a title game rematch against the top-seeded Japanese team. The two teams were locked in a pitcher’s duel through regulation, as neither was able to score. McCleney would start the eighth inning placed at second base due to international tie-breaker rule and would later come around to score on a two-run double by former Florida All-American Michelle Moultrie. Japan would score one run in the bottom of the eighth but former UCLA standout pitcher Ally Carda would hold them to just one run, securing the win with a complete game effort.
Over the week’s four games, McCleney went a combined 4-8 (.500) with three runs scored and an RBI. Traina threw 5.1 innings with five strikeouts and a win in the weekend’s opening game against Australia. The gold medal performance at the Japan Cup marks the end to a successful summer for Team USA that also included a win at the World Cup of Softball and a second place finish at the Pan American Games.