The No. 1 ranked U.S. Women's National Softball Team went 1-1 in the gold medal exhibition rematch series against No. 2 Japan preparing for the 2022 Birmingham World Games.

On Tuesday, current Alabama softball ace right-hander Montana Fouts earned her first start and recorded two strikeouts for Team USA in the 7-1 loss to Japan.

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Fouts was pulled after two innings, however, retiring her first three batters in order, then allowing a 2-0 lead off of three hits and a wild pitch in the second frame.

Team USA went unbeaten against the Aussies this week with wins on back-to-back days in the exhibition games that started on July 4. They'll play one more warm-up game at 4:30 p.m. CST on Wednesday against professional softball club USSSA Pride.

Alabama alumna Haylie McCleney, a veteran member of the national team since 2014, made all four starts at centerfield, picking up a hit against both Japan and Australia.

The 2022 World Games softball event begins with a qualifying round on Saturday, July 9 at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Alabama. Game 1 for the U.S. Women's National Team is scheduled against No. 7 ranked Italy and will take place in the second session on Saturday, following No. 8 Australia vs No. 2 Japan at 4 p.m. CST.

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