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Softball, Women

Date21 – 30 July 1996
StatusOlympic
LocationGolden Ball Park, Columbus, Georgia
Participants120 from 8 countries
FormatRound-robin tournament, with the top four teams progressing to the semi-finals.

World championships in softball for women were first held in 1966, but it took another 30 years for the sport to make the Olympic program. With the Olympics in Atlanta, the United States had home-field advantage, although they hardly needed it, having won 106 consecutive games internationally from 1986-1995, and all but one World Championship dating back to 1970. The consecutive game streak ended when a Chinese team defeated them in a preliminary game at the Superball Classic. The Olympic tournament came down to the same two teams, China facing the United States for the gold medal. The USA won, 3-1, but not without controversy. In the 3rd inning, the Chinese tried a double steal with runners on 1st and 3rd. The umpire called Zhang Chunfang out at home plate, though the call was very close. In the bottom of the inning, shortstop Dot Richardson hit a two-run homer that sliced down the right-field line. The Chinese manager, Li Minkuan, protested for 10 minutes that the ball was foul, but replays confirmed the umpire’s call.

PosNrTeamNOCWLPtsRFRA
1United StatesUSA8116418Gold
2People's Republic of ChinaCHN64123413Silver
3AustraliaAUS63122715Bronze
4JapanJPN53102421
5CanadaCAN3461517
6Chinese TaipeiTPE2541919
7NetherlandsNED162432
8Puerto RicoPUR162544

Round-Robin (21 – 27 July 1996)

Round-robin pool, with the top four teams progressing to the semi-finals.

PosNOCWLPtsRuns
1USA611237–7Q
2CHN521029–7Q
3AUS521022–11q
4JPN521024–18q
5CAN34615–17
6TPE25419–19
7NED1624–32
8PUR1625–44
Game #121 Jul 9:00USA 10 – 0
6-inning mercy rule
PUR
Game #221 Jul 11:30CAN 2 – 1
10-innings
TPE
Game #321 Jul 18:30CHN 6 – 0AUS
Game #421 Jul 21:00JPN 3 – 0NED
Game #522 Jul 9:00AUS 4 – 0TPE
Game #622 Jul 11:30JPN 3 – 0CHN
Game #722 Jul 18:30CAN 4 – 0PUR
Game #822 Jul 21:00USA 9 – 0NED
Game #923 Jul 9:00CHN 2 – 1CAN
Game #1023 Jul 11:30TPE 7 – 1NED
Game #1123 Jul 18:30USA 6 – 1JPN
Game #1223 Jul 21:00PUR 2 – 0AUS
Game #1324 Jul 9:00USA 4 – 0TPE
Game #1424 Jul 11:30CHN 10 – 0
5-inning mercy rule
PUR
Game #1524 Jul 18:30AUS 1 – 0
8-innings
NED
Game #1624 Jul 21:00JPN 4 – 0CAN
Game #1725 Jul 9:00CHN 8 – 0NED
Game #1825 Jul 11:30AUS 10 – 0JPN
Game #1925 Jul 18:30TPE 10 – 2PUR
Game #2025 Jul 21:00USA 4 – 2CAN
Game #2126 Jul 9:00JPN 8 – 1PUR
Game #2226 Jul 11:30AUS 2 – 1
10-innings
USA
Game #2326 Jul 18:30CAN 4 – 1NED
Game #2426 Jul 21:00CHN 1 – 0TPE
Game #2527 Jul 9:00AUS 5 – 2CAN
Game #2627 Jul 11:30NED 2 – 0PUR
Game #2727 Jul 18:30USA 3 – 2CHN
Game #2827 Jul 21:00JPN 5 – 1TPE

Semi-Finals (29 July 1996)

Winner of the match between the first and second place of the round-robin phase advanced to the Grand Final, the loser advanced to the Final against the winner of the other semi-final.

Game #129 Jul 18:30USA 1 – 0
13-innings
CHN
Game #229 Jul 21:00AUS 3 – 0JPN

Final Round (30 July 1996)

Winner of the Final advanced to the Grand Final.

Grand Final30 Jul 19:00USA 3 – 1CHN
Final30 Jul 16:30CHN 4 – 2AUS