The American Olympic softball team is taking home the silver after getting bested by Japan in a highly-anticipated rematch that was more than a decade in the making.
Japan took gold on Tuesday after a 2-0 win over Team USA, whose bats were stifled throughout the game by Japanese pitcher Yukiko Ueno.
It was a crushing defeat for the American team, who’d been on a 5-0 winning streak in the round-robin-style tournament; Japan had won four of its previous games and lost one.
The game marked a rematch for the two teams, who battled it out for the gold in Beijing in 2008 with similar results: Japan won the gold with a 3-1 victory, leaving America with the silver.
The loss in Beijing snapped a long-running streak of success for the American team, who had previously won gold during the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.
After their loss in Beijing, Team USA was forced to wait more than a decade for a shot at redemption; softball was not a part of the international competition in 2012 or 2016, but returned in 2020.
“Sometimes it’s just not your day,” pitcher Cat Osterman said after Tuesday’s game, according to USA Today. “[Unfortunately], it’s not been our day twice now. If you told me this was the ending and I had to redo it, I would do it all over again because this team has heart, has fight.”
The American team may have another wait ahead of them if they want to go for Olympic gold again. At present time, softball is not among the list of sports to be included in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.