Japan beats Canada to reach softball world championship final

Kyodo

Japan booked a rematch in the women’s softball world championship final against the world No. 1 United States after beating Canada 3-0 in the bronze medal game on Saturday afternoon.

Right-hander Yukiko Ueno fanned seven and scattered four hits in her shutout victory, and left fielder Saki Yamazaki drove in two runs as Canada settled for bronze.

In the bottom of the first, Yuka Ichiguchi singled against right-hander Danielle Lawrie for the first of Japan’s seven hits, and Saki Yamazaki drove her home with a deep triple to right field to give the hosts an early lead.

In the third, Yamazaki circled the bases on an inside-the-park home run against Canada reliever Eujenna Caira, and Mana Atsumi singled in Yu Yamamoto to make it 3-0.

Japan, the world No. 2, needed the win to advance after suffering a 4-3 loss in extra innings against the U.S. in the first semifinal on Saturday.