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Haylie McCleney carries USA Softball’s offense into gold medal game

Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images

Outfielder Haylie McCleney has been an essential part of Team USA’s lineup on their road to the gold.

Heading into the gold-medal game Tuesday, McCleney leads all players in the Olympic tournament with an astounding .643 batting average. No other American player has even cracked the top ten.

McCleney also leads Team USA in slugging percentage (.786) and runs scored (four); in the latter category, she is third overall for the tournament. That makes up almost half of the United States’ nine total runs through five games.

In Team USA’s game against Canada, McCleney went 3-for-3 and scored the lone run. She was also a difference-maker against Japan in the tune-up game Sunday, scoring off of Valerie Arioto’s single to tie the game and give Kelsey Stewart the opportunity to walk it off.

McCleney, 27, had a decorated softball career at the University of Alabama from 2013-16. There, she was the sixth Crimson Tide slugger to be named an All-American four times, including three as a first-teamer. The Alabama native also earned first-team All-SEC honors three times.

McCleney finished her college career with a blazing .447 batting average, 313 hits and 279 runs scored, earning the career batting crown at Alabama. Over four seasons, she also hit 27 home runs.

After graduating from Alabama, McCleney joined the USSSA Pride. She is a two-time world champion with both the Pride and Scrap Yard Fast Pitch.

McCleney and USA Softball will face Japan again on Tuesday in the gold-medal game at 7 a.m ET on NBC Sports.