Day 8 — the first day of the playoffs — featured eights teams as 23 teams have already been eliminated from medal contention. At the end of the day, No. 1 Japan and No. 2 United States have remained undefeated only allowing a combined 10 runs over 13 games.
Netherlands vs. New Zealand
The Netherlands started the playoffs by defeating New Zealand 8-2.
Britt Vonk hit the first pitch of the game for a lead-off single and stole second three pitches later. After a ground-out for the first out, Dinet Oosting doubled to score Vonk. A grounder and popup ended the half inning. Great Britain’s Ellie Cooper also lead-off with a single, but was stranded there.
After a three up three down second inning, the Dutch scored three runs on three hits. Vonk again led off with a single and was advanced to second on a sacrifice hit before Oosting drew a walk. Maxime Van Dalen then hit a single to score Vonk and advance Oosting. After a pitching change, Virginie Anneveld hit a double to score Oosting and bring Van Dalen to third. The next batter hit a sacrifice fly to center scoring Van Dalen. But Cooper ended New Zealand’s run drought by hitting a solo home run in the bottom half of the inning to be down 4-1.
Netherlands scored another run in the top of the fourth after a hit batter and two walks loaded the bases with two outs. New Zealand gave up another walk to push Shareday Christina home, but created a popup to get out of the inning.
Kingsley Avery and Cooper started a two-out rally in the fifth for New Zealand with back-to-back singles. Lara Andrews followed with a double to score Avery, bringing the game closer to 4-2.
But the Netherlands put the game out of reach in the sixth by scoring three runs. Karin Tuk reached base on an error. After singles by Vonk and Chantal Versluis, Tuk scored. Following a walk, Jessie Van Aalst hit a double to score Vonk and Versluis to make the score 8-2 and give the Netherlands the eventual win.
Winning Pitcher: Eva Voortman
Losing Pitcher: Courtney Gettins
New Zealand has finished the world championship
Netherlands: Saturday at 10:00am vs. Venezuela
China vs. Canada
Canada advanced in the Championship Round playoffs with a tight 4-3 win over China.
Pitcher Lauren Bay Regula retired China in order in the top of the first inning, while Kaleigh Rafter got Canada in the hit column with a single on a line drive over the shortstop but was left on base when the next batter grounded out.
China was able to open the scoring in the top of the second when Ying Lu took a low pitch deep to right field for a leadoff home-run.
Canada got things going offensively with two outs in the bottom of the second. Carey-Leigh Thomas and Natalie Wideman each connected with singles before Larissa Franklin chopped a ball to second base and forced a quick throw that pulled the first baseman off the bag to load the bases. Victoria Hayward then stepped up and drove a 2-0 pitch to the right field corner to clear the bases with a three-run triple. Joey Lye followed with a squeeze bunt and just beat the throw to first to allow Hayward to score from third, giving Canada a 4-1 lead.
China managed to get one run back in the top of the third with a two-out rally of their own. Jing Zhao hit a single, stole second and advanced to third when the throw from the catcher went into center field before scoring on a single through the left side of the infield to cut the lead to 4-2.
China then kept chipping away at the lead by scoring another run in the top half of the fourth. A lead-off double by Ying Lu brought Sara Groenewegen in to relieve Regula, but a Dongmei Wei single put runners on the corners before Lisha Liang dropped a two-strike safety squeeze to score Ying Lu from third and cut the lead to 4-3.
Wideman singled with one out in the bottom of the fourth but was erased at second on a shallow line drive that dropped just in front of the center fielder.
Groenewegen struck out the side in the top of the fifth, and got two more strikeouts in the sixth to retire China quickly. Jen Yee hit a one-out single in the bottom of the sixth but a ground out and a line drive got China out of the inning. Groenewegen fielded a ground ball back to her and struck out two in the top of the seventh to seal the one-run win.
Winning Pitcher: Lauren Bay Regula
Losing Pitcher: Lan Wang
Save Pitcher: Sara Groenewegen
China has finished the world championship
Canada: Saturday at 12:30pm vs. Mexico
Cuba vs. Chinese Taipei
Both teams needed a win to stay in the championship and continue in the medal hunt. But Chinese Taipei came out on top 4-1 to send Cuba home.
Chinese Taipei got the first runner on base when Yi-Ting Yang hit a lead-off double in the bottom of the first. But three straight put-outs end the inning scoreless.
Cuba reached base next in the top of the third as Maylin Bauta was hit by a pitch. But she was caught stealing to end the inning.
Chinese Taipei scored in the fourth from weak pitching from Cuba. Feng-Chen Lin and Szu-Shih Li were both walked and after two wild pitches, Feng-Chen Lin cross the plate for the close 1-0 lead.
Neither team could score in the fifth, though Cuba’s Katia Salazar and Yilian Velazquez each had singles.
Cuba tied the game up at their next at-bat. Ying-Hsin Lin was brought into the game and quickly punched two strikeouts. Following a single by Maritza Soca and an error by the shortstop to allow Katia Salazar on base, Velazquez singled to score Soca.
But the game didn’t stay tied for long as Chinese Taipei scores three runs in the bottom of the frame. Yi Yen led off with a single and was sent home with a Szu-Shih Li home run. With one out, Chi Tseng and Pei-Chun Lin singled. Chia-Yi Chen then doubled to score Chi Tseng and drive the score to 4-1.
With Cuba facing their last at-bat opportunity, Ying-Hsin Lin shut them down recording a strikeout and forcing two put-outs for the 4-1 Chinese Taipei victory.
Winning Pitcher: Ying-Hsin Lin
Losing Pitcher: Anisley L. Gutierrez
Cuba has finished the world championship
Chinese Taipei: Saturday at 7:30pm vs. Australia
Mexico vs. Japan
The winner of this match-up would advance straight to the Semi-Final game. But Japan’s dominating performance so far in the championship continued with a 2-0 victory over Mexico.
Japan put the first base runner on in the bottom of the second. Eri Yamada hit a one-out single. But the next batter hit into a double play. A fly ball to left field ended the inning with no harm.
Mexico reached base in the top of the third on a one-out single by Sashel Palacios. But a strikeout and popup to shortstop ended the inning.
The fourth saw Misato Kawano single and advance on a strikeout for the second Japanese runner in the game. But Japan couldn’t capitalize and the score remained at 0-0.
Mexico got their first runner in scoring position in the fifth. Nallely Lopez singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. But a popup to second ended the at-bat.
Japan finally put runs on the board in the bottom of the inning. Yuka Ichiguchi hit a out-hit homer just over the center field fence. Natsuko Sugama followed up hitting a triple again to center, but a weird bounce allowed her to race home for a 2-0 game. Mexico settled down and Dallas Escobedo struck out the next batter, followed by a ground out to end the inning.
Japan again reached base in the sixth. Misato Kawano hit a single up the middle. But two fly outs ended the inning, still 2-0.
Third baseman Yu Yamamoto made two tremendous plays in the seventh, followed by a fly ball to right field to end the game 2-0 in Japan’s favor.
Japan is now one win away from reaching the Gold Medal game.
Winning Pitcher: Yamato Fujita
Losing Pitcher: Dallas Escobedo
Mexico: Saturday at 12:30pm vs. Canada
Japan: Saturday at 5:00pm vs. United States (semi-finals)
United States vs. Venezuela
7-0 (5 innings)
Eight hits, two home runs and a complete game shutout by Jessica Moore helped advance the USA to the semifinals as the Eagles downed Venezuela 7-0 (five innings).
The game was scoreless through the first inning of play as Venezuela’s defense kept the U.S. off the board despite a leadoff triple from Haylie McCleney. Moore returned the favor in the bottom of the frame, picking up her first strikeout of the game and two groundouts.
USA veteran Valerie Arioto got the U.S. offense rolling in the top of the second with a solo blast over centerfield to score the first run of the game. Delaney Spaulding would add to that lead with a sac fly, bringing Amanda Chidester home to make it a 2-0 game.
That score would stick until the top of the fourth when the Eagles would add an additional three runs to their lead. A lead-off walk to Arioto, a single from Chidester and a walk to Michelle Moultrie loaded the bases for USA. A sac fly from Kasey Cooper brought Arioto home and a triple from Jazmyn Jackson brought home another two runs.
Venezuela threatened to score in the bottom of the fourth after Yuruby Alicart got a hold of the ball for a single, but Jackson made a heads up play in left field to throw Alicart out at second base. A single would put a runner on, but Moore fired back with a strikeout and a groundout to end the threat.
The final two runs of the game for the U.S. would come in the top of the fifth after Arioto picked up her second hit of the game with two outs. Chidester then got a hold of the ball for a two-run blast, putting USA just three outs away from a run-rule victory. With Venezuela down to their final at-bat, Moore retired the side in order with two ground-outs and a strikeout to give the U.S. the shutout win.
Winning Pitcher: Jessica Moore
Losing Pitcher: Alondra Perez
United States: Saturday at 5:00pm vs. Japan (semi-finals)
Venezuela: Saturday at 10:00am vs Netherlands
Italy vs. Australia
A solo home run by Stacey Porter was enough to give the Aussie Spirit a narrow win over Italy in their World Championship game in Canada.
Having been eliminated from medal contention with a loss to China the previous day, the Australians were playing for places 9-16.
They got back on the winning list against Italy, winning 1-0 thanks to solid pitching and defence, with Porter’s homer the difference between the two teams.
Winning Pitcher: Vanessa Stokes
Losing Pitcher: Greta Cecchetti
Italy has finished the world championship
Australia: Saturday at 7:30pm vs. Chinese Taipei
Guatemala vs. France
Winning Pitcher: Josselline M. Solorzano
Losing Pitcher: Sarah Benchali
Guatemala: Saturday at 10:00am vs. Ecuador
France has finished the world championship
Uganda vs. Greece
Winning Pitcher: Artemis Traikapi
Losing Pitcher: Esther Nakabugo
Uganda has finished the world championship
Greece: Saturday at 12:30pm vs. Peru
Switzerland vs. India
Winning Pitcher: Corina Grass
Losing Pitcher: Pooja Parkhe
Switzerland: Saturday at 5:30pm vs. Serbia
India has finished the world championship
Austria vs. Ecuador
13-0 (5 innings)
Winning Pitcher: Cornelia Chwojka
Losing Pitcher: Susy Solis
Austria: Saturday at 5:30pm vs. Czech Republic
Ecuador has finished the world championship
Peru vs. Czech Republic
3-14 (4 innings)
Winning Pitcher: Lucie Zappova
Losing Pitcher: Natalie A. Csengeri
Peru has finished the world championship
Czech Republic: Saturday at 5:30pm vs. Austria