02/08/2018 - 12/08/2018

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XVI Women's Softball World Championship 2018 - Official Payoff

Two years ago today: USA walks-off to win WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship 2018 in front of record crowd in Japan

Two years ago today: USA walks-off to win WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship 2018 in front of record crowd in Japan
12/08/2020
Two years ago today: USA left Japan on the field in the final, before 11,000 softball fans at Chiba ZOZO Marine Stadium on 12 August 2018.

One of the most intense international softball games of all time ended two years ago today, at ZOZO Marine Stadium in Chiba, Japan. USA defeated host Japan, 7-6, in a 10-inning thriller to win the WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship 2018. The event awarded USA a berth in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, becoming the first of six qualified nations.

The top softball players from 16 countries and territories gathered in Chiba to play the 16th edition of the Women’s Softball World Championship, adding another chapter to an already rich 55-year long history.

In the opening round, USA, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Netherlands advanced to the playoffs from Group A, eliminating Chinese Taipei, New Zealand, the Philippines and South Africa. In Group B the top four were Japan, Australia, Canada and Italy, leaving China, Great Britain, Venezuela and Botswana out of medal contention.

The night before the final, Japan and USA met in the semi-finals. The battle between the two undefeated teams finished in eight innings with a walk off RBI single by USA's Rachel Garcia.

On 12 August, Japan was forced to play Canada in the second semi-final. Yukiko Ueno shut out the Canadian squad for a 3-0 victory, leading the home team to their seventh consecutive World Championship Game against USA.

More than 11,000 softball fans were present at ZOZO Marine Stadium for the final between USA and Japan, in a record-setting attendance for a World Championship softball game.

The finale turned into an epic battle, with the lead changing hands----- five times. USA sent five pitchers into the circle over the 10 innings, while Ueno went the distance for Japan and suffered the loss.

WBSC broadcast and live stream partners covered 86 countries.

USA won their 11th world championship and 15th medal in the history of the event. For Japan, it was their sixth overall silver medal. Canada completed the podium, grabbing their second consecutive bronze.