Japan Wins Softball Gold Medal, Defeats USA 2-0
Japan secured their second straight Olympic gold medal in softball with a 2-0 victory over Team USA. This historic win is a repeat of 2008 when Japan left the USA heartbroken in the gold medal game.
Japan’s Yukiko Ueno pitched a no-hitter into the sixth inning, which is even more impressive as she had turned 39 years old just five days prior.
The USA seemed to be rallying in the sixth inning until an incredible double play was turned by Japan to halt the momentum.
Japan had a 2-0 lead when Michelle Moultrie singled to lead off the sixth inning. Another single by Janie Reed saw the U.S. with two runners on base and just one out. Amanda Chichester then belted a line drive at Japanese third baseman Yu Yamatmoto where it bounced off her wrist perfectly to shortstop Mana Atsumi who turned an unlikely double play.
As if the sixth inning was not already filled with enough excitement, Reed made an outstanding play to rob Yamato Fujita of a two-run homer in the bottom half of the inning.
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Ueno reentered the game for Japan in the seventh inning. She retired Team USA in order and closed out the game for Japan with a 2-0 win.
Ueno improved her Olympic record to 9-1. She recorded five strikeouts and allowed just two hits.
The Americans allowed their first runs of the six games played in the tournament and failed to bring anyone across the plate themselves.
Although the USA wore uniforms starkly different than the uniforms they were in their 2008 title loss to Japan, the result did not differ as Japan claimed their second Olympic gold.