McCleney, Traina, and Team USA beat Japan 6-1 in softball world cup final


Team USA defeated Japan 6-1.  Photo courtesy of ASA USA Softball

Kayla Montgomery

While the U.S. women’s national soccer team was taking home its third World Cup title, USA Softball defeated Japan 6-1 in Irvine, California to win its eighth World Cup.

The team featured two Alabama athletes. Senior centerfielder Haylie McCleney is in her second year with the team, and former pitcher Jaclyn Traina has been with the team for three seasons.

Sunday’s championship was the seventh meeting between USA and Japan in the championship game, with the USA now holding a 5-2 record in those meetings. Team USA finished the weekend with a 7-1 record, with its only loss against Canada 4-1 on July 3. In the seven games played, Team USA outscored its opponents 46-7.

Traina appeared in three games, and allowed only one earned run in 9.2 innings pitched, with 10 strikeouts and five allowed hits. Traina’s other two appearances came against Puerto Rico on June 30 and Venezuela on July 4. Traina led the Crimson Tide to its first national championship in 2012, and was a four-time All-American while with the team. In 2012, she pitched every inning in the Women’s College World Series.

McCleney appeared in all seven games in the tournament, batting .375 with five runs. She is a three-time All-American at Alabama and is the current career leader in batting average and on-base percentage. In the 2015 season, she was named the softball Academic All-American of the Year and the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Five schools are represented by multiple former or current players on the national team roster including Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Oregon and Tennessee. The SEC is the most represented conference with eight of the roster’s 18 players, just ahead of the Pac 12 with six players.