This time it's the 2011 world softball championships known as the World Cup of Softball VI.
Again, with the women as the combatants, Japan will take on the USA on Monday night, July 25, 2011 at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in the US.
But the USA nearly missed the date, as they were locked in a 0-0 tie in the 4th Inning on Sunday against Great Britain. But... by the end of the 4th inning, Team USA brought in 10 runs and ended the game with a 'mercy rule' in effect. Too bad from Great Britain. But great job by the USA.
While Team USA won twice on Saturday, it only got to Sunday's match after Australia defeated the favoured (by this blog) Canadian team.
One of the games the USA won on Saturday was against Japan, 8-4... but this time in the championship game the Yankees will be going up against Japan's ace: Ueno Yukiko (surname first).
Previously, Ueno tossed a three-hit 7-0 shutout this past month against the USA this month in the finals of the Canadian Open. Ueno also was the winning pitcher in Japan’s 3-1 gold medal winning game in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Both the USA and Japan finished with 4-1 records in the round robin of the World Cup.
The US is looking for its fifth straight World Cup title, but most of the current Team USA roster are first-year players on the national team.
World Cup of Softball Results
2005: Japan defeated the USA 3-1. Australia 3rd, China 4th;
2006: USA defeated Japan in 2006, 5-2. Canada 3rd. Australia 4th;
2007: USA defeated Japan 3-0. Canada 3rd. China 4th;
(2008: Olympics Japan 3-1 over the USA. Australia 3rd).
2009: USA beat Australia 3-1. Canada 3rd, Japan 4th.
2010: USA beat Japan 5-1. Team USA Futures 3rd. Canada 4th.