Australia defeated Italy, 3-0, at the end of a very close and clinched a spot in the super round. A two-out single by Sasha Willems broke the tie.
The turning point of the game was the bottom of the fourth. With two outs, Italian starter Alexia Lacatena walked left fielder Phillipa Adkins and third baseman Shaylan Whatman followed with a single. First baseman Sasha Willems would have been the third out on a fly to centre field, but her swing happened on an illegal pitch. She was then brought back to the box, with the runners advanced to second and third. She swang and missed at the first pitch and singled on the very next. Both runners scored.
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Until that moment, Italy had enjoyed the best scoring chances.
In the top of the second, with two outs and a runner at first, Kayla Hancox got the third out on a blooper by opposing right fielder Alessia Colonna thanks to a great running catch.
In the top of the second, Italy put runners at the corners.
Left fielder Naomi Giacometti led off the fourth with a double. Italy failed to bunt her to third and on a blooper by Lacatena left fielder Philippa Adkins got the second out with a diving catch.
Australia added a run in the bottom of the fifth. Center fielder Isabella Hanna singled and pitcher Georgia Hood sent her home with a double off the wall in centre field.
With one out in the top of the seventh, Lacatena tripled to the right foul line. Italy failed to advance her further.
Hood threw the complete game to earn the win.
Canada beat New Zealand, 10-3 in six innings, to head undefeated to the super round.
It was not Canada’s best performance.
New Zealand got an early lead and held to it until the fifth, then surrendered it on defensive errors.
Shortstop Caitlyn Lewin doubled off Canada’s starter Samantha Ryan to break the tie in the top of the first and designated player Pearl Waetford followed with an RBI single.
New Zealand entered the bottom of the fifth with a 3-1 lead. With one out, Canada’s designated player Allyse Volpe dropped a bunt. A rare combination of two defensive errors took her all the way back to home plate. New Zealand surrendered another run on one more throwing error and finally catcher Lauren Benson got to relief pitcher Brooke Glassie with a double to centre and reversed the lead.
New Zealand put the potential tying run at second with one out in the top of the sixth, but reliever Alexis Lucyshyn retired the next two batters in order to end the threat.
In the bottom half of the frame, after one more error and a wild pitch, New Zealand brought starter Reegan Leppien to the mound and Canada broke the score open on consecutive hits by shortstop Grace Messmer and Kianna Jones. Benson added one more single to end the game on the seven-run difference mercy rule.