Speed Reads

2020 Tokyo Games

The wild double play that dashed U.S. softball's hopes for gold

The Japanese softball team defended its 2008 gold medal on Tuesday after the sport returned to the Olympics this year in Tokyo, and they did it in style, with some stellar defense that dashed the American side's hopes of taking back the crown for the first time since 2004. 

Japan was holding on to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth, when the U.S. appeared to have a rally going with runners on first and second and one out. Then, Amanda Chidester stepped up to the plate and laced a line drive to third base only for the ball to deflect off Yu Yamamoto's glove, which allowed shortstop Mana Atsumi to glide over, snag the ball in the air, and flip it back to second to double off the runner and end the inning. The U.S. would get one last turn at bat in the bottom of the seventh, but they went down one-two-three, sealing the deal for Japan. Watch the wild, momentum-changing double play below.