Heartbreak and joy: The best softball photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Joyful women rush to embrace on the softball field.
Team Japan celebrates a 2-0 win over the U.S. women’s softball team for the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
The hat and eyes of a person are visible over a barrier that has the logo of a softball pitcher.
An usher peeks over the right field fence as the U.S. plays Japan in softball.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A player falls into padding on a fence, the softball near her feet.
Japanese outfielder Eri Yamada misses a catch while crashing into the right field wall early in the women’s softball final.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Amanda Chidester at bat.
Amanda Chidester keeps a sharp eye on the ball while at bat late in the gold medal game against Japan.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Women somberly stand on the field and hug.
U.S. softball teammates console one another after losing 2-0 to Japan.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Players crowd surf a man.
Team Japan lifts manager Reika Utsugi as they celebrate their win.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

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