The top-ranked women’s softball nations in the world, No. 1 United States and No. 2 Japan, will clash in the three-game Japan All-Star Series, which opens tomorrow (Wednesday, 20 June) at 7:00pm JST at the iconic Tokyo Dome and includes a pre-game home run derby.
The international series, a WBSC-sanctioned event, will be broadcast in Japan and played across three different cities within a four-day period:
- Game 1: USA v JPN at 7:00pm – Tokyo Dome
- Game 2: USA v JPN at 6:00pm – Shellcom Sendai
- Game 3: USA v JPN at 1:00pm – Fukushima Azuma Stadium
The softball world expects large and passionate crowds for the series, particularly the opener at the Tokyo Dome — home of the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). The first-ever international softball game was played at the Tokyo Dome in 2016, which generated a record softball crowd of 31,448.
Players will be able to get familiar with Fukushima Azuma Stadium, which will be used for baseball and softball events at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Japan’s roster will be led by Beijing 2008 gold medallists Yukiko Ueno and Eri Yamada, who also earned Bronze in Athens 2004. The Japanese roster also features 2014 WBSC World Champions Yamato Fujita, Yuka Ichiguchi, Yu Yamamoto, Misato Kawano and Nozomi Nagasaki.
USA head coach and three-time Olympic gold medallist Laura Berg has elected to go with a roster filled with young talent and proven veterans, like two-time Olympian Kelly Kretschman (Gold in Athens 2004 and Silver in Beijing 2008), and 2016 WBSC World Champions Ally Carda, Amanda Chidester, Delanie Gourley and Jessica Moore.