She does it again: Yukiko Ueno leads Bic Camera Bee Queen to Japan Softball League back-to-back titles

She does it again: Yukiko Ueno leads Bic Camera Bee Queen to Japan Softball League back-to-back titles
The right-handed pitcher had a stellar outing in the most important game of the season, firing seven scoreless innings while striking out 14 to lead her team to a 1-0 win over Honda Reverta. She was named MVP of the Japanese Softball League.

Bic Camera Bee Queen on Sunday at Paloma Mizuho Stadium in Nagoya won their second consecutive title in the Japanese Softball League, the oldest professional softball league in the world. In a repeat of last year’s final, Bee Queen defeated Honda Reverta in the final contest, 1-0, to repeat as JSL champions.

On Saturday, Bic Camera Bee Queen stung the Toyota Red Terriers in the first semifinal. Yukiko Ueno started for Bee Queen, while the young lefty Nozomi Goto opened for Toyota. Both pitchers went the distance, but a four-run second inning -- including a two-run homer by Japanese National Softball Team catcher Haruka Agatsuma -- propelled Bee Queen to a 5-4 victory.

In Sunday' semifinal, the Red Terriers met Honda Reverta who advanced to the first semifinal with a 3-0 win against Shining Vega. Jailyn Ford and Ally Carda combined for a shutout for Honda Reverta in a close 1-0 win over the Red Terriers, outduelling Olympian Monica Abbott, who went the distance for Toyota.

It set up a rematch of last year’s final between Bic Camera Bee Queen and Honde Reverta. And it was Ueno’s game, pitching a three-hit, 14-strikeout shutout victory. A bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Kanna Kudo in the top of the fifth was all Ueno needed to secure a 1-0 win and clinch the title.

It’s the 13th title in history for Bic Camera Bee Queen and the second in a row after winning the 2019 JSL.

The championship weekend was aired in Japan by BS11 as it generated national headlines, including coverage by top sports media outlets in Japan, like Yahoo's Sports Navi, Nippon Sports, Tokyo Sports, Nikkan Sports, Chunichi Shinbum and Daily Sports.