Japan women's national softball team

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Japan women's national softball team
Medal record
Competitor for  Japan
Softball at the Summer Olympics
Silver 2000 Sydney Team
Bronze 2004 Athens Team
Gold 2008 Beijing Team
ISF Women's World Championship
Bronze 1965 Melbourne
Gold 1970 Osaka
Silver 1974 Stratford
Bronze 1998 Fujinomiya
Silver 2002 Saskatoon
Silver 2006 Beijing
Softball at the World Games
Gold 2009 Kaohsiung
Japan Softball Cup
2nd 2006 Yokohama
World Cup of Softball
1st 2005 Oklahoma City
2nd 2006 Oklahoma City
2nd 2007 Oklahoma City
4th 2009 Oklahoma City
2nd 2010 Oklahoma City

The Japan Women's National Softball Team is the national team of Japan. It is governed by the Japan Softball Association and takes part in International Softball competitions. They are ranked number two according to the 2006 ISF World Championship. In four Olympic Games, since 1996 until 2008, Japan has won one gold medal, a silver medal and a bronze medal. In the top four nations at the Olympics, Japan is the second most successful National Team (winning three medals), following the United States (four medals, three gold and a silver), and beating out Australia (also four medals out of which three were bronze and one silver) and China with one silver medal. After winning the Gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics, the Japanese National team was defeated by the United States team at the XII Women's Softball World Championship in Caracas, Venezuela.

2008 Olympic Team[edit]

The Japanese National Women’s Softball Team received an unexpected result at the last softball game of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. It was the last softball competition before the sport is dropped from the Olympic program, and the hard work and dedication of Japanese National Softball Team led to a surprising gold medal with a victory over the United States in the final. It ended the Americans' 22-game winning streak and denied them a fourth straight title since softball was introduced in 1996. The team fought tough for victory and resulted in Japan's win of three games over two days for the gold. Most players on the team play for Japanese Corporate teams. The national team gets funding from the Japanese government.

The roster of the 2008 Summer Olympics National Softball team is listed below:

  • Naho Emoto
  • Motoko Fujimoto
  • Megu Hirose
  • Emi Inui
  • Sachiko Ito
  • Ayumi Karino
  • Satoko Mabuchi
  • Yukiyo Mine
  • Masumi Mishina
  • Rei Nishiyama
  • Hiroko Sakai
  • Rie Sato
  • Mika Someya
  • Yukiko Ueno
  • Eri Yamada

Head Coach: Haruka Saito

The Future of the Japanese National Softball Team[edit]

The Japanese side lined up during player introductions

The International Olympic Committee decided that softball and baseball should not be included in the 2016 Summer Olympics. Still, fast pitch softball tournaments are organized all over the World, and they provide the opportunity for the National teams to compete at the highest level players can attain. The Japan Softball Association holds the Japan Softball Cup, and other competitions include the World Cup of Softball and the International Softball Federation Women’s World Championship.[1]

Additional Information[edit]

  • • At the 2008 Summer Olympics, the Japanese prized pitcher, Yukiko Ueno, shut down the seemingly unstoppable American batters. Spectators labeled her the star of the series. With her challenging fast ball, the 26-year-old right hander threw 413 pitches in three full games over two days. In the game against the United States she threw strike after strike with speed and movement even though she had a huge blister on her pitching hand.
  • • At the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, the Japanese National Women’s Softball Team had to pull out a 4-3 extra-inning win against Australia with Rei Nishiyama belting a home run in the 12th inning to reach the final. In the game prior to that, Japan lost 4-1 to the United States with the Americans scoring four runs in the ninth which allowed the Americans to reach the final.
  • • At the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, the Japanese National Women’s Softball Team won all their games until the gold medal match in which they lost to the United States 1-0 in extra inning and had to settle for the silver. The Japanese had beaten the United States in an earlier game, ending the American’s 112-game winning streak.[2]
  • • In the Athens Olympics in 2004, Yukiko Ueno entered the history books by pitching the first perfect game in Olympic history, leading Japan to a 2-0 win over China.[2]
  • • Many softball players from abroad come to Japan to play for Japanese Corporate teams. Each team is allowed two foreigners, some even coming from the United States National Softball team.

Results[edit]

References[edit]

Hays, Jeff. (2010) "America football, Basketball, and Team Sports in Japan". Facts and Details. March, 2010. Retrieved on Aug 4th, 2010 from FactsandDetails.com:http://factsanddetails.com/japan.php?itemid=765&catid=21&subcatid=140