She was fast (like, deceptively fast). She could hit any pitch to any part of the field. She had power, too. She would've been a Gold Glover if that existed in college softball, as evidenced by her behind-the-back web gem.
But most of all, she was clutch. She is clutch.
The second baseman came up crucial by blasting a walk-off home run in Team USA softball's 2-1 win over Japan at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to send the United States to the gold medal game.
Kelsey Stewart's Walk-Off HR Against Japan
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) July 26, 2021
Stewart can now add 'American Hero' to her impressive resume.
The former Florida Gator stepped to the plate in the seventh inning against Japan and promptly crushed a walk-off home run to give the Americans a 2-1 victory. The blast not only beat Japan on their home turf but won the U.S. the Olympic softball group stage and sent them to the gold-medal game.
The home run—which came off Japan's Yamato Fujita and flew over right fielder Yuka Ichiguchi—was a dream come true for Stewart.
"It's like you dream about when you're a little kid, about hitting a home run at the Olympics, let alone a walk-off,'' Stewart said afterward.
It isn't the first time Stewart has come up clutch against Japan.
Back in 2018, Stewart hit a single in the 10th inning that gave the U.S. a win over Japan in the Women's Softball World Championship. That hit ultimately gave Team USA an Olympic berth.
We LIVE for the thrill??
?? 2 | ?? 1 pic.twitter.com/o0vqves0lt
— USA Softball Women's National Team ?? (@USASoftballWNT) July 26, 2021
The two-time national champion is one step closer to becoming an Olympic champion. Led by legends such as Cat Osterman and Monica Abbott, the U.S. Olympic team will play Japan in a rematch on Tuesday at 7 a.m. ET for the Olympic gold medal.
Stewart has a penchant for big hits in Japan. Hopefully she does something else incredible and comes home a gold medalist.
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