U.S. tops Japan to take World Softball Championship

The United States women's softball team took back the World Baseball Softball Confederation World Championship on Sunday, beating Japan 7-3 in the championship game in Surrey, British Columbia.

The Americans, who had won seven previous championships before Japan took the title in 2012 and 2014, got three-run home runs from Michelle Moultrie and Haylie McCleney, and raced out to a 7-1 lead in the fourth inning. Japan pitcher Yamato Fujita came on in relief and shut down the U.S. the rest of the way, striking out seven.

McCleney, who was a four-time All-American at Alabama, also came up with a defensive gem for the Americans, throwing out a runner at the plate from center field in the third inning.

Japan cut the lead to 7-3 with solo home runs from Haruna Sakamoto in the fourth inning and Misato Kawano in the fifth.

Alison Aguilar had a pair of hits for the U.S. team and drove in the game's first run, scoring Jazmyn Jackson, who had doubled, in the first inning. Aguilar scored on Moultrie's home run.

Jessica Moore, one of four pitchers for the United States, picked up the win in the final.

The U.S. won all nine of its tournament games. Japan lost twice to the Americans.