YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) -- Yu Yamamoto broke up a scoreless game with a two-run fourth-inning home run as Japan downed Italy 5-0 to improve to three wins from three games and stay on a softball gold medal collision course with the United States at the Tokyo Olympics.
Two-way player Yamato Fujita threw two scoreless innings at Yokohama baseball stadium before being relieved by lefty Miu Goto with a runner on second and no outs in the third.
Goto, the winning pitcher of Japan's walk-off 3-2 win over Mexico on Thursday, struck out nine over five innings, and got the lead on Yamamoto's second home run of the tournament.
"I'm glad I could get that hit when we really wanted a run," said Yamamoto. "It was a big team win."
Fujita made it a 5-0 game in the sixth with her third home run of the Tokyo Games, a three-run shot.
Italy's starting pitcher, Alexia Lacatena, did not allow a hit until Yamamoto took her deep in the fourth with a runner on.
The top two teams from the six-team round-robin tournament will play for the gold medal with the third- and fourth-place teams meeting in the bronze game.
The U.S. beat Mexico 2-0 earlier in the day to improve to 3-0, while Canada improved to 2-1 with a 7-1 win over Australia who sit fourth with a 1-2 record.