They may be playing for the right to avoid being the worst team at the World Cup of Softball, but at least, Brazil and Puerto Rico will be playing for something.
After falling short in Oklahoma City over the last week, the two nations will battle it out in the fifth-place game on Monday. Brazil has gone 1-4 throughout the tournament, its only win coming versus Puerto Rico in last Thursday's opening game. Puerto Rico, alternately, has gone winless throughout the tournament, suffering five losses by a combined score of 5-30.
Here's where you can find all the information you need about when and where to watch Monday's fifth-place game.
Where: Oklahoma City, Okla.
When: Monday, July 2 at 2 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN3
Monday's Top Storylines
Both Teams Making Their Softball World Cup Debuts Finish Last
When you consider the fact that neither Puerto Rico nor Brazil has ever been a part of the World Cup of Softball, it isn't hard to believe that they have both struggled against some of the strongest squads in the world.
Because both nations made their inaugural appearances this year, they were awarded with the honor of playing the first game of this year's tournament against each other at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
Even before the tournament started, the teams weren't necessarily concerned with winning; they were simply honored to have the chance to represent their countries. As Brazil pitcher Nilze Higa told The Oklahoman's RJ Young, "We were never able to compete against Australia and the stronger teams. It's a really good challenge, but it's also a great opportunity to see the Oklahoma grounds."
Now, the two teams that kicked everything off will meet again in a rematch in their final game. Brazil won the first matchup 2-1.
Brazil Bench Player Roseanna Portiolli Acts as Translator for Coach
Though Portiolli doesn't see much playing time on the field, she certainly spends a lot of time on it: She acts as a translator for Brazil's coach, Taketomi Higashi, translating his Portuguese into English for the umpires and for the opponent's coach.
The 19-year-old infielder, the youngest member of the squad, was promoted to Brazil's senior team this summer after playing for the junior national team. According to Young, she credits an unusual source with helping her hone her English: Monica, Phoebe, Chandler and the rest of the Friends cast.
Portiolli said there are some interesting and unusual benefits to acting as her coach's translator, like being able to argue with the umpires without being tossed—even if it's just as a proxy for her coach. Portiolli told Young:
"It’s weird and kind of fun, actually, because I never got to do it. But you have to listen and then talk and you can get lost in the middle. I have to say exactly what he’s saying, so sometimes I have to think back."
Prediction: Brazil wins 4-1
It's hard to believe a team that hasn't been able to beat anyone is going to find a way to do it in the final game of this tournament—especially against a team it has already lost once in the last week.
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