Porter calls time on Aussie Spirit career

Stacey Porter's last softball match with Aussie Spirit has ended in a disappointing loss to Mexico.
Stacey Porter's last softball match with Aussie Spirit has ended in a disappointing loss to Mexico.

Aussie Spirit captain Stacey Porter fought back the tears after her long international softball career came to an end with a 4-1 Olympics defeat to Mexico.

The loss cost Australia the chance of a bronze medal at the Tokyo Games, with Mexico moving forward to play Canada for third place on Tuesday.

"Unfortunately we're not there (in the bronze medal game), that's the reason we came here and it's a little bit disappointing," said a tearful Porter, 39, who won silver and bronze medals at the Olympics in 2004 and 2008.

"I guess we'll reflect on our time together. A lot of them have stuck around for a 12- or 13-year period and we've created a great bond.

"That's it for me, but I've enjoyed my time with the Aussie Spirit.

"I'm sad that I won't wear an Aussie uniform ever again."

Jade Wall hit a consolation home run as Australia were punished for leaving five runners on base in the first three innings.

Australia - who had won a medal at each of softball's four previous Olympics appearances between 1996 and 2008 - finished fifth in the six-team competition.

Aussie Spirit coach Laing Harrow said: "We've been here for close to 55 days and, for us, to be the first team in the pandemic to be at the Olympics I believe these ladies have left a great impression on the Japanese community.

"I really feel for them. We wanted the opportunity to play Canada.

"We know the career Stacey Porter's had. We've got quite a few girls that this will be the last opportunity, to play with each other and to play for Australia.

"Hopefully young kids are watching back home who will want to play softball and continue the legacy."

The United States and Japan will meet in Tuesday's gold medal match despite the hosts being beaten 2-1 by the Americans in their final opening round game on Monday.

Australian Associated Press