Chiu An-Ju and Lin Su-Hua combined for a shutout and guided Chinese Taipei to the victory, in the last game of the WBSC Softball Asia/Oceania Qualifier in Shanghai, China. Chinese Taipei finished the Super Round with 2-1 record and qualified for the World Games Birmingham 2021.
Clean up hitter Chen Chia-Yi put Chinese Taipei in front with an RBI single to short center field to plate Yen Yi from second. The leadoff hitter had reached with a single to right field and advanced on a slow grounder by Su Yi-Hsuan.
In the defensive end, Chiu An-Ju opened strong for Chinese Taipei, changing speeds and mixing-up perfectly her change-up to retire the first six batters in a row. However, in the top of the third, the right-handed pitcher walked Lauren Young with no outs, and Francesca Altomonte bunted a single just in front of home plate, to put two runners on base with no outs. Then Reese Guevara failed to bunt for the first out, and even when Chelsea Suitos advanced the runners with a soft grounder to second base, Mary Maguad was retired with a fly ball to left field
In the home half of the third Chinese Taipei quickly added two insurance runs to make it 3-0. Ho Yo-Fan hit a leadoff triple to right field, and then Yen Yi plated her with a single to center field. And later Li Szu-Shih hit a long sacrifice fly to center field.
In the top of the fifth, the Philippines again threatened, starting the inning with back to back singles by Garnet Blando and Young. However, they couldn’t score. Altomonte bunted to advance the runners, but then pinch hitter Sierra Lange and Chelsea Suitos grounded to the left side of the field to end the inning.
Chinese Taipei added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Su Yi-Hsuan and Li Szu-Shih started with consecutive singles, and clean up hitter Chen Chia-Yi bunted to advance her teammates in scoring position.
China Taipei Head Coach Yang Shien Mieng: “Our opening game against Australia, robbed us of the Tokyo ticket (lost 1-5). It was the first game and our players were not settled in. I still believe that we could have beaten them as we have done before. But all is not lost because we have qualified for the World Games in Birmingham in 2021 as the top two Asian teams from this qualifier. That is why this game against the Philippines was very important that we win. It will also help improve our ranking. We can only get better from the experienced gained here”.
Philippines Head Coach Venerando Dizer said: “We have done well for a team who are assembled for a very short period before tournaments, as many of our players are based in the States. But having said that, we still could have done better here, if we had made used of our chances and minimised on our errors. Like today against Chinese Taipei, we had players on the bases but never finished with the runs, while Chinese Taipei made full use of their players on the bases. I am still proud of my players who have reached the Super Round”.