Michelle Moultrie knocked in the first run for the U.S Olympic Softball Team as shot out to a 1-0 lead against Italy in their first taste of Olympic play since 2008. In the fifth inning, Moultrie's teammate, Janie Reed, added to Team USA's lead by hitting a sacrifice fly. Moultrie and Reed's performance was backed by a one-hit performance from Olympic veteran Cat Osterman as Team USA walked away with a 2-0 win. For a team that hasn't competed in the Olympics since 2008, the U.S. Olympic Softball Team does not appear to have missed a beat.
"There's a lot that goes on with just trying to get into a groove of, I've always done this. It's the same game I've always played," Moultrie said after her team's first win.
The U.S. Olympic Softball Team last competed in the Summer Olympic Games thirteen years ago. At the time, softball star Michelle Moultrie was a recent high school graduate working to walk on to the University of Florida's softball team. Her skill and hard work earned her a spot on Team USA and 2021 SEC Player of the Year honors. Unfortunately, softball was removed from the Summer Olympic Games in 2012 and 2016. As a result, Moultrie is making her Olympic debut as a 31-year-old veteran of the sport. Still, the goal is the same. Bring home the gold. Team USA will return to the diamond on Wednesday for a matchup against Canada at 8 p.m. ET
The U.S. Olympic Softball Team was not the only crew representing America on Tuesday. The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team also kicked off their Olympic run on Tuesday. Unfortunately, their Olympic debut did not go as well. Crystal Dunn and Team USA fell to Sweden by a score of 3-0. After losing their first game since 2019, Team USA will look to bounce back with a win against New Zealand on July 24 at 7:30 a.m. ET.
On a brighter note, the U.S. Men's National Basketball Team received a bit of good news on Tuesday evening. Basketball star Zach LaVine has passed through health and safety protocols and will compete in the Tokyo Olympics. In addition, NBA Champions Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton will soon join Team USA in Tokyo. Their first game is set for July 25 against France.