The Silver Bullet

An opinion in popular sports

USA Softball ’08: Wins Silver or Loses Gold?

Your eyes are not playing tricks on you, the US softball team lost the gold medal this morning in Beijing to Japan.

After being tested by Japan yesterday and just squeaking out a 4 to 1 extra-inning win, the American girls lost the gold medal game to the same Japanese team 3 to 1.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not taking anything away from team Japan and what they and their star pitcher Yukiko Ueno have accomplished. After losing in 9 innings(international softball games go 7 innings) yesterday to USA, they beat Australia in another marathon match 4 to 3 in twelve innings to earn their spot in the gold medal game. Ueno not only pitched in each of the three games, but pitched every inning in Japan’s three game gold medal run.

yahoo images

yahoo images

But if you watched the championship game you know that the US women had every opportunity to win this game and squandered each one. In the first inning the ladies from the United States had the bases loaded and failed to score a single run. After that first inning the United States offense looked flat and completely unconfident at the plate.

Japan was able to score two runs in the forth inning but Crytal Bustos did what she does and hit a opposite field home run to narrow the Japanese to one run in the button of the inning. After Bustos’ solo shot (Bustos has been dubbed the “Babe Ruth of Softball”) the US seemed to regain their confidence and in the sixth inning had the bases loaded again with only one out. But the US ladies again let a “golden” opportunity slip away with two infield pop-ups to end the sixth inning still trailing by one.

In the top of the seventh the Americans committed two errors and Japan was able to push their lead to 3 to 1. After that the US women had lost all momentum and eventually the game. The US women’s softball team had won 22 straight games before losing what might be the very last softball game played in Olympic competition.

Softball was voted out of the 2012 games by the International Olympic Committee stating that the world was not competitive enough in the sport with a select few countries, namely Australia and the United States who have won medals every year the soprt has been held in the Olympics. Australia won the bronze in Beijing and this is the first time the United States has not won the gold.



August 21, 2008 - Posted by | Blogroll, Olympic Games, shawncamilleri, Softball, Sports, thesilverbullet

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