Monica Abbott And Yukiko Ueno Rekindle The Rivalry

  • Monica Abbott is one of only a few players with Olympic Softball experience.
  • Softball is making its return to the Olympic stage for the first time since 2008.
  • The United States is a -200 favorite to win the gold medal.

TOKYO - Monica Abbott is no stranger to softball at the Olympics, even though the Tokyo games are the first time in 12 years that the sport makes its return to the Olympic stage.

Abbott was one of the youngest players on the 2008 United States softball Olympic squad, and pitched the last two innings of the gold medal game that year. The United States lost to Japan, 3-1, through no fault of Abbott’s, who finished the Olympics with a 0.29 ERA, a truly dominant performance.

Unfortunately, the bats of the United States were shut down by the pitching of Yukiko Ueno of Japan.

Ueno also makes her return to the Olympics this year, at the age of 38, and the two pitchers could very reasonably end up meeting each other in the gold medal game once again.

Tokyo 2021 - Women's Softball

  • USA (W) -200
  • Japan (W) +175
  • Canada (W) +2500
  • Australia (W) +10000

In fact, according to the online sportsbooks, such a clash in the gold medal game is the most likely outcome. In the 2008 Olympics, Ueno’s dominance was extended over 28 full innings in only three days against two of the best teams in the tournament.

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She threw 408 pitches in those last two days alone, and almost single handedly carried Japan to a gold medal. Now, the United States wants revenge, and Ueno, older now, may not be in a position to perform as heroically as last time.

The opening round of the Women’s tournament pits the United States against Japan, and Olympic sportsbooks wonders what role the two rival pitchers will play.

The two teams face off at 9 p.m. on Sunday, and both teams seem to be en route to that game being a medal decider. The United States is favored, but they were last time as well.