The Loop

Tough Breaks

Team USA softball just lost the gold medal on the craziest double play you’ll ever see

July 27, 2021

On Tuesday morning, Team USA’s run of so-close-yet-so-far results at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics continued. Following Katie Ledecky’s surprise silver in the Women's 400 Freestyle, and a Simone Biles-less runner-up finish to the ROC in the Women’s Team Gymnastics Final, the United States’ fortunes then turned to softball, where Team USA took the mound in the gold-medal game against Japan. Looking to avenge their gold-medal game loss to Japan back at the 2008 Olympics—the last time the sport appeared at the Olympics—the offensively challenged lineup hung around. In the bottom of the sixth inning, trailing 2-0 with runners on first and second and one out, Amanda Chidester stepped to the plate and fired a well-hit line-drive ... straight into one of the wildest double plays you will ever see.

Yep, that is exactly what it looks like. The ball carroms off the Japanese third basewoman’s arm, straight into the shortstop’s glove, who then turns and flicks it to second base for the second out. It’s a heads-up play and nice turn from the shortstop, but as the closer angle shows, it’s also just bitterly unlucky for Chidester and Team USA.

From there, the writing was on the wall. Janie Reed came up with a massive home-run robbery in the top of the 7th to keep the score at 2-0, but Team USA, who scored just six runs the entire competition, went down in order in the bottom of the 7th to hand Japan their second consecutive softball gold. Some days just aren’t your day, and if the Tokyo Olympics thus far are any indication, this year might be not be Team USA’s year.