UPDATE: This might be even bigger than expected, as with a typhoon heading straight for Tokyo, it’s possible the gold medal game could be canceled. If that happens, the United States would win the gold with a 5-0 record in pool play over Japan’s 4-1.
A big move by Team USA’s Ken Eriksen here.
Holy crap. @jessmendoza talking about if typhoon impacts the gold medal game….THIS COULD HAVE BEEN THE GOLD MEDAL MATCHUP.— Emily (@emilypitek) July 26, 2021
And he ahead of everyone. He made sure to win that game with possibility of this being gold medal game due to Tsunami hitting Japan while Japan used backups!— Eric Lopez (@EricLopezELO) July 26, 2021
Team USA’s Kelsey Stewart hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the United States a 2-1 win over Japan in the last game of softball preliminary play for both teams. With the win, the Americans will bat last in the gold medal game at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow.
Despite some dominant pitching from legends Monica Abbott and Cat Osterman, the USA has struggled with offense so far in this tournament. This is the first home run for the red, white, and blue at the Olympics. But it couldn’t come at a better time for the USA, who will look to win the first softball gold medal in 17 years for the traditionally-dominate nation in the sport.
Japan defeated the USA in the last softball final at the 2008 Games in Beijing, and the sport won’t be contested again until the 2028 games in Los Angeles at the earliest. There’s probably not a more pressure-packed game in the entire Olympics than this one.