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Maggie Hendricks

Japan shocks the U.S. for gold in softball

Fourth-Place Medal

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Of all the upsets that we have watched through these Olympics, this is the last one I thought I'd see. Japan beat the U.S. in softball, winning the gold 3-1. The U.S, who had given up one run throughout the Olympics, gave up three runs, and could not get their offense going. They had chances to score and did not capitalize on them. The only run was a home run by Crystl Bustos. The team left runners on at the bottom of the sixth when there was just one out, and after a leadoff single from Vicky Galindo, couldn't get another hit in the bottom of the seventh.

Japan, on the other hand, did not play like a team who had endured two extra inning games the day before. Pitcher Yukikko Ueno, who threw three complete games in a span of 35 hours, stopped the vaunted American offense. They won by taking chances, too. Japan added to their lead in the top of the seventh with a suicide hit and run and en error by pitcher Monica Abbott.

So, now that the U.S. has not won every softball gold medal awarded, will the IOC give? Can we please have softball back? Was the competition good enough? Were the stands full enough? Were the ratings high enough? Surely they can see the value of bringing back softball in 2016.

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