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Countdown to The World Games Birmingham: Softball

The World Games 2022 (TWG 2022) will take place in Birmingham July 7-17 and we’re counting down the weeks and days.

Among the sports at TWG 2022 is softball and among the qualified teams are USA and Japan. Japan defeated USA to win the gold medal at the 2020 Olympic Games. Will the two teams meet again for gold at TWG 2022, but this time with Team USA with the home advantage?

Eight members of that USA team will return for TWG 2022. 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 Heather Tarr, the 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.”

National teams from Australia, Canada, China, Italy, Mexico and Chinese Taipei will be looking to knock off top-ranked teams 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 eight teams in the world.

TWG 2022 softball will take place at the Hoover Met.