The U.S. women's softball team celebrates poses for a photo with the 2018 Japan Cup trophy on Nov. 4, 2018 in Takasaki, Japan.
The U.S. women’s softball team has gotten used to winning in Japan.
The Americans just hope that carries over to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
After winning the world championship and qualifying for the Games this past August in Chiba, Japan, Team USA did it again on Sunday by winning the four-team Japan Cup in Takasaki. After going undefeated in the round-robin, the U.S. faced the hosts for the tournament title, and shut them out, 4-0.
Olympic medalist Monica Abbott, who was named Japan Cup MVP, was dealing from the pitching plate. She threw a complete game two-hitter, striking out 10 Japanese batters and allowing just two walks. The only serious trouble she was in came in the bottom of the first. She allowed a leadoff double, then after a groundout walked the bases loaded. She allowed one hit in the second, then was perfect for the rest of the game.
Delaney Spaulding and Amanda Chidester provided all the offense Team USA would need. They each hit two-run home runs, Spaulding in the fourth and Chidester in the fifth. Apart from those two blasts, the U.S. bats were fairly quiet. The only other extra base hit was a double by Aubree Munro, who then scored on Spaulding’s homer. But given Abbott’s heroics, it was more than enough to bring home the hardware.
It was the ending to a perfect, 20-0, international record this season for Team USA.