Japan's Growing Softball Dominance

Is America Losing Its Grip on the Sport of Fastpitch?

Last August, Japan shocked the world softball community by defeating the seemingly invincible American team for the Olympic gold medal in Beijing. That medal had belonged to the USA since 1996—when women’s fastpitch softball was first added to the roster of the Olympic Games—and the Americans were poised to win their 4th in a row before Japan swooped in and wrested it from their grasp. 
Reportedly, the Japanese had studied American superstar Cat Osterman’s pitching style in minute detail for years to break the “Osterman Code” and gain an advantage. 
But Japan’s offensive didn’t stop there. The country’s pro league is flourishing, and more and more of the USA’s finest players are heading overseas to play in it—including superstar pitchers Monica Abbott and Angela Tincher. Tokyo also currently tops the list of candidate cities to host the 2016 Games, which could see the reemergence of fastpitch on the Olympic program. 
Read more in our latest Softball Notebook article Japan: The Great Softball Caper; Is Softball Being Uprooted & Relocated Across the Pacific?