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Team USA Softball Falls in Comeback Bid Against Japan, Loses Gold Medal 13 Years After Beijing

·2-min read
Team USA softball
Team USA softball

Yuichi Masuda/Getty Images Team USA softball plays Team Japan

Team USA softball was unable to rewrite the history books on Tuesday.

The American women fell to Japan in the gold medal match at the Tokyo Olympics, ending the game 2-0 and winning the silver medal.

The game at Yokohama Baseball Stadium remained 0-0 until the top of the fourth inning when Japan brought one runner home. They followed that up with another run in the fifth inning, as the U.S. remained down with just one hit.

Despite an epic catch by Janie Reed in the seventh inning, the U.S. finished their attempt with just three hits against Japan.

RELATED: Team USA Softball Players Say It Was a 'Dream Brought Back to Life' When Sport Returned to Olympics

Just one day prior to Tuesday's loss, the U.S. women had bested Japan 2-1. The gold medal game was likely a case of déjà vu for Team USA, as the last time softball was on the Olympic schedule — the 2008 Beijing Olympics — they also fell to Japan in the final.

Earlier in the day Tuesday, Canada defeated Mexico to win the bronze.

Softball first became an Olympic sport back in 1996, making its debut at the Atlanta Summer Games. That year, the U.S. women won the first-ever softball gold medal. Softball was off of the schedule for the 2012 and 2016 Games, and Japan was behind the vote to re-include softball in Tokyo, as the sport remains highly popular in the country.

Yuichi Masuda/Getty Images Kelsey Stewart bats against Team Japan during the Softball gold medal game

Earlier this year, while speaking to PEOPLE, Haylie McCleney talked about softball being missing from the Games, admitting it was "really heartbreaking for our entire community."

RELATED: Team USA Secures Another Softball Victory as Amanda Chidester Faces Off Against Her Fiancée

When it was re-added for Tokyo, McCleney says, "I can't even express to you how much of a relief it was, how much of a dream it was coming back alive, how much hard work it took to get back into the Games it was. There were many tears shed when it happened."

To learn more about Team USA, visit Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.

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