Softball: Black Sox fall to Japan in world championship semi-final

Black Sox pitcher Daniel Chapman.
Black Sox pitcher Daniel Chapman. Photo credit: World Baseball Softabll Confederation

The Black Sox's quest for an eighth world softball championship title is over after losing to Japan in the semi-finals on Sunday (NZ time).

Japan's 2-1 win ensured there would be a new name on the trophy this year in Prague, as they will meet Argentina in the final, with both nations gunning for their first title.

In an intense and final-like encounter, it was captain Nathan Nukunuku who got the Black Sox off and running with a solo home run to centre field in the top of the first inning.

Japan replied with a home run of their own to tie it up in the bottom of the second.

Two singles and a walk allowed Japan to take the lead for the first time in the game to go 2-1 up in the fifth inning.

The loss means the Black Sox will miss the final for the first time in 11 tournaments, having contested the gold medal match 10 consecutive times since 1984.

For Japan, they'll be competing in their first final since 2000, where they lost to New Zealand

The Black Sox will play Canada for bronze at 2:30am on Monday (NZ time).