Yamamoto, Fujita home runs power Japan past Italy 5-0 to close day 3 of Olympic softball

Yamamoto, Fujita home runs power Japan past Italy 5-0 to close day 3 of Olympic softball
Fujita and Miu Goto combined on the shutout, which pushed Japan's record to 3-0 at Tokyo 2020.

Yu Yamamoto and Yamato Fujita homered tonight at Yokohama Baseball Stadium to lift Japan over Italy, 5-0, in Game 9 of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic competition. Fujita and Miu Goto combined to pitch the shutout, giving Japan their third win in a row in the tournament.

Goto posted a five-inning, one-hit relief performance to earn her second win in the Olympics. She struck our nine of the 19 batters she faced in the game. The 20-year old left hander remains scoreless after 7.2 innings of work in the event.

Two-way player Fujita started the game for the host team, pitching two innings of two-hit ball with one strikeout. She was lifted from the circle in the third frame, after a leadoff double by Beatrice Ricci. Goto escaped unharmed after a strikeout and two grounders. 

Yamamoto gave Japan the lead in the game in the top of the fourth inning. With Nodoka Harada on base, the third baseman connected an opposite-field home run to give her team a 2-0 the advantage. Moments later, left fielder Laura Vigna robbed Fujita of a home run. 

Two innings later, two-way player Fujita made sure the ball was leaving the ballpark with a no-doubter to left field, bringing in three more runs for Japan with only one swing. Fujita has homered in the first three games of the Olympic competition. 

Italy’s head coach Federico Pizzolini gave the ball to 18-year old Alexia Lacatena, who allowed only one hit, which was Yamamoto’s homer, in her four innings of work, with 2 strikeouts and 2 walks, but was charged with the loss.

Japan remains on top of the standings (3-0), with USA, while Italy (0-3) will battle for a spot in the bronze medal game.