Kelsey Stewart’s walk-off home run sets stage for softball gold-medal game

Jade Hewitt/Courtesy of USA Softball

USA Softball is now 5-0 heading into the team’s gold-medal game on Tuesday.

The U.S. extended its unbeaten streak on Sunday, defeating Japan 2-1 on a walk-off.

Down 1-0 going into the sixth inning, the United States’ offense finally started to click. First, Valerie Arioto’s RBI single tied the game with one inning left to play. Then, Kelsey Stewart stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the seventh and blasted a walk-off home run for Team USA.

The game’s climactic ending was tempered by the broadcast’s decision not to air a replay of the game-winning play, which drew the attention of journalists and viewers alike.

USA Softball will face Japan again on Tuesday in the gold-medal game, airing at 7 a.m. ET on NBC Sports. The game is a rematch of the 2008 Olympic final, when Japan defeated the U.S. 3-1 in Beijing, the last Olympics for softball before the sport returned to the Games this year.