USA Softball Ends Summer Play With Japan Cup Title
The U.S. women's national softball team ended its 2019 campaign by winning the Japan Cup title on Sunday in Takasaki, Japan.
Team USA defeated Japan, 3-2, in the tournament's championship game to wrap up a summer slate that saw the Americans capture gold medals at the USA Softball International Cup, the Pan American Games and the Japan Cup. A three-run blast from tournament MVP Valerie Arioto ultimately helped the top-ranked U.S. squad defeat the No. 2 Japanese team, while the pitching combination of Olympians Monica Abbott and Cat Osterman helped overcome the effort of Japan pitcher Yukiko Ueno.
“This tournament showed a complete maturation of the 2019 season for our program,” Team USA head coach Ken Eriksen said in a press release. “When you’re able to stay together as a unit and progress from playing independently to becoming a team, things come to fruition and you saw that as we won the USA Softball International Cup, the Pan American Games Gold and now the Japan Cup."
Next up for USA Softball will be the Olympic Team Selection Trials, which will take place Oct. 1–6 at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City, Okla. The U.S. Olympic softball team roster will be announced on Oct. 6, and a press conference will follow with the Olympic team on Oct. 8.