Japan Women’s National Softball Team Third Consecutive Championship in Canada Cup - Pitcher Ueno Won MVP and All Star Winners

Japan Women’s National Softball Team Third Consecutive Championship in Canada Cup - Pitcher Ueno Won MVP and All Star Winners

Team Japan with a board of ‘SOFBALL FOR 2020 OLYMPICS’ made by local fans

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 Japan Women’s National Softball Team won their third consecutive championship of Women’s Division of Canada Cup Women’s Fastpitch Tournament 2013 held in Softball City (2201-148th St. Surrey) on July 22nd. Softball fans were enthusiastic about a pitcher Yukiko Ueno’s double award-winning of ‘MVP’ and ‘All Star Winners-Pitcher.’

 Their opponent in the final match was Australia, which beat USA and moved into final. Team Japan sent up the ace pitcher Ueno same as the day before. They had several chances with the bases loaded although they were not able to make a score. Both teams had scoreless and went into extra innings. Top of eighth, one run finally came across on error by the opponent. Player Ichi had an admirable hit to convert. End of eighth, Pitcher Ueno pitched well and they managed to hold on for the victory.

 The competition ground of the day was almost full of Japanese living in Canada, Canadian fans of Team Japan, children from local league who came to see Pitcher Ueno. They watched the game versus Australia, which had just finished going against USA and played solid defense.

 After the end of awarding ceremony, even though it was past 22:00, players had commemorative photos with the fans and responded with smiles to requests for their autographs late at night. A Japanese primary school student living in Canada smiled with a ball with players’ autographs in his hands, ‘I like Japanese players as they are strong, polite, and kind to their fans.’

 In the competition ground, some fans held a board of ‘SOFBALL FOR 2020 OLYMPICS.’ Some said, ‘There needs softball in the Olympics as this sport makes adults and children enthusiastic.’ A girl also talked about her dream, ‘I want to participate in a game if there is softball in the Olympics.’

 Softball Manager Utsugi spent time on interacting with fans after every game. She said, ‘We made the fans worried due to long scoreless innings, but we finally won first prize. We are thankful to a lot of fans for cheering us up every time.’ Pitcher Ueno looked back on games, ‘I concentrated on pitching every inning and believed the catcher. It was grateful that junior players had experience to go against international players in this Cup.’

(Translated by Hiroko Shioda)