The 2008 gold medal game, which may be the last Olympic softball game ever played, pitted the American team, known for dominating the Olympics, against the Japanese, and star pitcher Yukiko Ueno.
The US team had walked away with the gold in the previous three Olympic Games, and in 2004 they had swept the games, with a perfect 9-0 record. But Ueno, considered the fastest pitcher in women’s softball – with a 75.19 mph fastball – is the only pitcher to have ever produced a perfect game at the Olympics, against China in 2004.
During the semi-finals against Australia and the final game against the US, Ueno pitched 28 innings, and lead her team to a 3-1 victory over the US.
Though a stunning loss for the US, the two teams put differences aside. At the medal ceremony they joined the bronze medal-winners, Australia, to spell out “2016” in softballs in front of the home plate, a hopeful message for the future of Olympic softball.