Olympic Softball Day 3: Japan, USA remain atop the standings, Canada close behind

Olympic Softball Day 3: Japan, USA remain atop the standings, Canada close behind
The top two national teams in WBSC World Softball Rankings share a perfect (3-0) record at Tokyo 2020. Mexico and Italy are still winless.

USA and Japan lead the standings with perfect records after Day 3 of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Softball tournament, which took place at Yokohama Stadium.

Canada outscored Australia, 7-1, and earned a key win to open the day.
Australia was off a good start against Sara Groenewegen and took a 1-0 lead. Jenna Caira stepped in for Canada and earned the win allowing only two hits over 4.2 scoreless innings.
Canada's offence set things up for Caira. They reversed the lead with a three-run first against Ellen Roberts and opened the score, adding three more runs in the second against Gabrielle Plain. Jenn Salling and Erika Polidori had both two RBIs.

"I'm pretty disappointed," commented Australia's head coach Laing Harrow. "We had opportunities to put runs on the board and put pressure on."

"We’re very proud we came back in the bottom of the first and answered again in the bottom of the second," said Canada's head coach Mark Smith. "The bottom line is that we’ve got to win every game from here on. We look forward to tomorrow afternoon, the most important game we play (vs. Japan), and come in and hopefully take care of business."

Salling previewed the upcoming game against Japan: "At the end of the day, we need to play dominant defence, flawless pitching, and we need a couple of clutch hits tomorrow. You know, that is what is going to get us the 'W'".


Cat Osterman pitched six scoreless innings and Ali Aguilar delivered a 2-run single in the top of the third to help USA beat Mexico, 2-0. The United States has not allowed a run in three games. Osterman earned her seventh Olympic win, tying legendary Lisa Fernandez as the US pitcher with the most overall wins in the Olympics.

"I thought our coaches did a great job of preparing the players for what to expect from Mexico," commented US head coach Ken Eriksen. He then praised catcher Dejah Mulipola: "The game she called with Cat Osterman was pretty close to perfect. There was only one ball credited with a hit, and it probably should’ve been an error. But I thought our game plan was terrific."

Osterman credited the rest of the team for her record win: "It's easy to play when 15 of you are all on the same page and pushing together in the same direction."

Ali Aguilar also praised the team spirit: "We have a really supportive team with a lot of energy. We know we are going to get the clutch hit, so we have confidence. If it weren’t me today, it would be someone else."


Japan used two home runs -- Yu Yamamoto's in the fourth and Yamato Fujita's in the sixth -- to beat Italy, 5-0, and stay undefeated on top of the Olympic softball tournament, together with the US. Italy stranded runners at third both in the first and in the second.

"We lost to a great team," commented Italy's head coach Federico Pizzolini. " They are probably the favourites. The hardest part was, because of the Japanese lineup, we were under continuous stress. Continually under pressure. Every batter we faced just increased our stress. That put a lot of pressure on our defence."


Day 4 begins at 10 local time on Sunday, 25 July.