World No. 8 China claimed the title in the women’s softball Asia Pacific Cup 2019 with a nail biter, eight innings victory over No. 6 Chinese Taipei, 4-3. Both Chinese Taipei and China had stunned No. 2 Japan and No. 7 Australia (runner up and fourth place respectively in last year’s WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup in Chiba, Japan), in the semifinal contests.
The final day of the Asia Pacific Cup was just a sample of the competitiveness and parity among some of the top teams from Asia and Oceania, who will be playing the regional Olympic Softball Qualifier in Shanghai, China, from 24-29 September, with the winner advancing to Tokyo 2020.
China started the day defeating host team Australia, 7-3, in the semifinal. Xinxing Zhao went the distance pitching all seven innings for the victory. With the score tied at 3, Chinese third baseman Ying Lu hit a three-run homer in the top of the fifth to take the lead.
In the second semifinal Chinese Taipei beat Japan, 1-0, in extra innings, behind a stellar performance by Ying Hsin Lin, who completed the game with a masterful one-hit shutout, with a total of 9 strikeouts. The only run of the game crossed in the top of the eight inning.
In the final game, Ying Lu’s clutch hitting allowed China to take the lead. A pair of RBI doubles off the bat of the third baseman produced the first two runs of the game, in the bottom of the third and fifth innings respectively.
However, in the top of the sixth Chinese Taipei tied the game, with solo shot by center fielder Yi Yen over the right field fence, and an RBI triple off the bat of Chia Yi Chen.
Chinese Taipei forged ahead for the first time in the game in the extra innings, when Szu Shih Li doubled to center-right field and produced the third run of her team. However in the bottom of the eighth a defensive error by Chieh Pei Shih allowed Jingjing Yuan and Qi Li to cross home plate and finish the tournament.
Congratulations to China, what a thrilling #APC2019 final!
— Softball Australia (@SoftballOz) 3 de febrero de 2019
In other scores, Australia A beat No. 11 New Zealand by a score of 8-0; and No. 9 Italy, 2-1, to clinch the fifht place.
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- AUS A