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Team USA softball falls to Japan, wins silver


Add another one to the home country’s medal count.

Two days after the United States walked off against Japan, there were no more late-game heroics. Japan got the better of Team USA with a 2-0 win Tuesday in the softball gold-medal game at the Olympics.

Team USA’s bats never quite got rolling as their hitting issues continued to plague them well into the final game.

Janie Reed connected on a huge triple in the bottom of the first, but the U.S. failed to get on the board after Reed was thrown out at home following a wild pitch.

Reed made a key defensive play in the top of the seventh to rob Japan of a home run and keep the U.S. within striking distance.

Team USA amassed only nine runs leading into the final, four of which came off the bat of Haylie McCleney. In the gold- medal game, Team USA had just three hits to Japan’s eight.

Thirteen years after softball last appeared in the Olympics, the final script was the same. Japan also defeated the U.S. to win gold in Beijing in 2008. Before that, Team USA had won three consecutive gold medals in 1996, 2000 and 2004.

After the game, U.S. pitcher Cat Osterman praised the team’s efforts, while manager Ken Eriksen announced his retirement.