The reigning Olympic champions beat Australia by the mercy rule
The host country of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 started the 17-day spectacle with a softball win on Wednesday (21 July) as Japan beat Australia 8-1 at Fukushima Azuma Stadium.
The reigning Olympic champions won by the mercy rule after opening a seven-run lead in the fifth inning.
UENO Yukiko was the winning pitcher. NAITO Minori and FUJITA Yamato homered for Japan.
Ueno got off to a rocky start, giving up a run in the first despite allowing just one hit.
After conceding a lead-off single to Michelle Cox, Ueno issued a walk and hit consecutive batters to score Cox.
The hosts managed to restore parity in the bottom half however.
Naito drew a two-out walk and advanced to second after a wild pitch to YAMAMOTO Yu, who drove the runner home with a base hit.
Naito handed Japan a 3-1 lead in the third with the first homer of these Games, blasting a two-run shot off Kaia Parnaby.
Japan compounded the damage with a three-run fourth highlighted by Fujita’s two-run home run that would chase Parnaby.
Ueno wasn’t at the top of her game but settled after the opening frame. She came out after one out in the fifth and throwing her 85th pitch with seven strikeouts.