USA Softball News Japan Stuns USA

Japan Stuns USA

Nov. 17, 2007, 11:43 a.m. (ET)

YOKOHAMA, Japan - The USA Women’s National Team received its first loss in over a year as they fell 5-2 to Japan in the final round robin game of the Japan Cup. With this loss the team posts a 2-1 record in round robin play and will meet for a rematch against Japan in the Gold Medal Game.

Alicia Hollowell (Suisun, Calif.) earned the start in the circle and Japan jumped on top in the first for an early 3-0 lead. With two outs, Mabuchi put up the first run with an RBI triple and would score when Hirose followed up with a two-run homerun for Japan. Japan tacked on two more runs in the third and fifth off RBI singles by Sato and Mishini.

The United States avoided a shutout in the sixth inning when Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.) scored off a single by Kelly Kretschman (Indian Harbour, Fla.). Andrea Duran (Selma, Calif.) followed with a double to left center field, scoring Crystl Bustos (Canyon County, Calif.) to cut the Japan lead to 5-2. This resulted in a pitching change by Japan but a groundout by Lovie Jung (Fountain Valley, Calif.) stopped the scoring drive Japan walked away with a 5-2 win, the United State’s first loss since 2006, a loss against Japan at the World Championships. 

Japan and the United States will meet up for the Championship game tomorrow at 1:00 p.m./local time while China and Australia will fight it out for the bronze medal at 11:00 a.m.