The U.S. and Japanese softball teams open with victories to start off the Games.

New York Times
TOKYO — The United States softball team, behind the pitching of the ageless Cat Osterman, defeated a tenacious Italy team, 2-0, as softball returned to the Olympics for the first time since 2008.

Earlier, Japan, another contender for gold, got the Olympics started with an 8-1 win over Australia.

Osterman, 38, who won a gold medal in 2004 and a silver in 2008, came out of retirement for these Games. She threw six of the seven innings, giving up just one hit and striking out nine.

Monica Abbott pitched the seventh and final inning for the United States and struck out the side.

Though Italy could not muster much offense, the pitching of Greta Cecchetti and Alexia Lacatena kept the game close. The United States got only five hits and scored its runs in the fourth and fifth innings on a single and a sacrifice fly.

The Japan-Australia game, the first competition of the Games, began with a ball and ended with a home run.

Michelle Cox, the leadoff hitter for the Australian softball team, took a low pitch from Japan pitcher Yukiko Ueno in an empty stadium in Fukushima on Wednesday in the first competitive act of the Tokyo Olympics.

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