Japan ends unbeaten United States and takes gold in softball

Japan claimed his second consecutive Olympic Games softball gold medal after defeating the United States 2-0 on Tuesday, evoking his emotional 2008 victory in Beijing and leaving his rivals in tears.

Yukiko Ueno gave up a hit until the fifth inning, five days after her 39th birthday, and Japan contained the Americans’ threat of reaction by executing an acrobatic double play in the sixth inning.

Japan led 2-0 when Michelle Moultrie singled to open the sixth off Miu Goto, a 20-year-old left-hander.

Goto gave Haylie McCleney her first strikeout of the Games, hitting a 69 mph pitch near her hands, and then allowed a single to Janie Reed.

With two runners running and one out, Amanda Chidester hit a line for the third. The ball bounced off third baseman Yu Yamamoto’s left wrist and landed in front of shortstop Mana Atsumi, who threw to second to knock Moultrie out.

Ueno (2-0) pitched again for the seventh and retired Valerie Arioto with a fly ball, Ali Aguilar with a ground ball and Delaney Spaulding by fouling the catcher to start the celebration.

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