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Japan's Yamato Fujita held Team USA without a hit for the first five innings. Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Despite failing to get a hit for the first five innings, the U.S. women's Olympic softball team managed to tie Japan in the sixth inning and win 2-1 in the seventh, thanks to a walk-off home run from Kelsey Stewart.

Why it matters: The same two teams, which were undefeated headed into Monday's game, will meet in the gold medal match scheduled for Tuesday evening Tokyo time.

Yes, but: There is rain in the forecast, so the medal games could be postponed.

Between the lines: As has been the case throughout the tournament, hits and runs were hard to come by for the U.S. squad, which trailed throughout the game after Japan scored a run in the first inning on a passed ball.

The big picture: Softball is back in the Olympics after a 12-year absence, but isn't set to be part of the 2024 Games in Paris.

  • Its future for the Los Angeles Olympics four years later is uncertain.

What they're saying: "It was like something you dream about as a little kid," Stewart said at a press conference after the game. "A home run at the Olympics, let alone a walk-off."

  • "So today when I went up to the plate, I was just trying to get comfortable and I was lucky that the ball was like a beach ball today," she said. "I had a good day."

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Go deeper

Biden attends Congressional Baseball Game at Nats Park

President Biden (center) sits with members of the Democrats' baseball team during the Congressional Baseball Game for charity at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday made an appearance at the annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park.

Why it matters: Biden's appearance comes amid tense political negotiations on Capitol Hill as lawmakers seek to negotiate the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package as the threat of a government shutdown looms.

The hard math behind America's labor shortage

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, the pandemic has created unusual temporary labor market dynamics. But in the bigger picture, the 2010s were a golden age for companies seeking cheap labor. The 2020s are not.

The big picture: In the 2010s, the massive millennial generation was entering the workforce, the massive baby bo0m generation was still hard at work, and there was a multi-year hangover from the deep recession caused by the global financial crisis.

Advocates fret Roe v. Wade's 49th anniversary could be its last

Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Women's March Inc

As Saturday marks the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's landmark decision that legalized abortion access in the U.S., advocates warn the ruling is "more at risk now than ever."

The big picture: The Supreme Court in December heard a challenge to a Mississippi 15-week abortion ban that could throw Roe's survival into question, or at least narrow its scope.