TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Thursday night, the USA Softball Women’s National Team swept a team of Alabama Stars in Tuscaloosa. Saturday, they look to do the same in Auburn.
Team USA won 9-1 and 7-0 in their two games in Tuscaloosa. Former Alabama center fielder Haylie McCleney, now playing for Team USA, made her return to Tuscaloosa after graduating in 2016.
“It was cool. It felt like home ever since we got here,” McCleney said after the games. “Getting to show all my teammates, some who had never been to Alabama, like the state, even, before, so getting to show them around and give them a taste of Southern hospitality was awesome.”
McCleney faced off against four current Alabama players. Alexis Osorio, Reagan Dykes, Bailey Hemphill, and Caroline Hardy all played for the Alabama Stars in the games in Tuscaloosa. McCleney faced Osorio and Dykes in the first game.
“It was crazy. I felt like I was in an intrasquad scrimmage,” McCleney said. “It was fun, and I think that was a really special moment for Alexis and Reagan, too, and for Bailey and Caroline to play out here, too is really awesome.”
The team now looks to Saturday’s doubleheader in Auburn, where former Tigers’ star and recent graduate Kasey Cooper will get a chance to play two more games at Jane B. Moore Field.
“It’s exciting to go back home, to play at my field that I played at for four years,” Cooper said.
Like McCleney, she has enjoyed getting to show off the state of Alabama to her USA teammates.
“They learned that they sweat a lot more than they do up North,” Cooper said. “They learned about humidity and the bugs, but besides that, they just love all the Southern hospitality we’ve gotten at the hotels, from other people, and they just love the difference.”
Saturday night’s games in Auburn begin at 6:00 p.m. at Jane B. Moore Field on the campus of Auburn University.