OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The USA women's softball team will participate in the four-team Japan Cup in August as preparation for the sport's possible return to the Olympic program in 2020.
Women's softball was removed for the 2012 Olympics and won't be in the 2016 Rio Games, either. Japan, the reigning world champion, will host the 2020 games, and the host nation can propose the addition of sports. USA Softball officials hope a successful Japan Cup, which will include Australia and Chinese Taipei, will influence the International Olympic Committee when it makes its final decision next year.
The Women's College World Series is a key training ground -- eight participants are on the national team that also will compete at the Pan Am Games in July and in the Japan Cup.