Japan defeated, 5-1, and eliminated Australia playing perfect defense. The line up executed key plays and provided the timely hitting needed.
Japan gets to the super round with a clean record. Canada will enter as the second place team (with one loss) and the surprising Dominican Republic will advance in the number three spot thanks to the win they recorded against Australia on Thursday, 23 August.
Australia got a couple of hits in the first against Miyu Shimizu. Shae Lillywhite led off with a single and Australia tried to advance her on a bunt. Natalie House popped the first offering in foul territory and Nozomi Abe was quick to get the fly out and double up Lillywhite at first. With two outs, Chelsea Forking singled, but couldn’t get any further than first base.
Also Japan got the first runner of the game on as Brittany Hepburn, the pitcher with the hardest fastball in the tournament, walked Tomomi Nakada. Miwa Tanaka made a difference, since she bunted Nakada to second. Iori Miura confirmed as a run producer when she lined an RBI double along the left field foul line. Yuki Kawabata worked the count full and then drove another one in deep left field for the second RBI double in a row.
Australia struck back in the top of the second. Taylah Welch doubled and then scored when Morgan Doty, with one out, drove another two-base hit into the gap to right center field. Shimizu walked Leslie Anglin, that became the second out when catcher Chihiro Funakoshi picked her off first base with a rally-stopping throw.
Hepburn issued four walks in the bottom of the fourth, and this took her total to six. On the free pass to Yuka Ogata, Miura scored Japan’s fourth run. Hepburn left for Kim Mc Millan with the bases loaded. Nozomi Abe welcomed the reliever with an RBI single. Yaya Kojima grounded to shortstop and Brownyn Gell got the force out at second. On the throw to first, umpire Jill Silvanic made an out call. Japan challenged the decision and the call was reversed. It resulted in one more run scored by Japan.
Shimizu left after five. Asaka Tsuru pitched a perfect sixth, striking out two, Akino Tanaka gave up a hit to Gell in the seventh, but found some relevant help from her defense to get out of trouble. Abe Nozomi caught a line drive byShae Lillywhite and completed the double play with a throw to first and Miwa Tanaka closed the game with a diving catch on a liner by Tammy Mc Millan.
Canada outscored, 18-1, the Dominican Republic in a game that proved interesting for the first couple of innings. Canada will finish second in group A behind Japan.
Dominican Republic was off a very good start. Yanela Gomez led off with a triple against Canada’s starter Emma Carr and scored the go ahead run on a double by Melissa Rodriguez.
Canada used the second home run of the tournament to reverse the lead in the bottom half of the frame. With Luchanski (base hit) at first and one out, Kelsey Lalor worked the count full against and then drove the sixth pitch by Marlenny Quero over the right field fence.
In the bottom of the second Canada added two runs. Daniella Matteucci led off with a double and reached third on a base hit by Ashley Stephenson. Matteucci scored on a balk and Stephenson reached home on a double by Veronika Boyd.
Canada got to Quero with a couple of doubles (Psota, Matteucci) in the bottom of the third. Reliever Angela Burgos could not stop the bleeding and Canada made it a 12-run at bat.
Hong Kong shocked Cuba: they scored five in the top of the seventh and earned an unexpected win, 8-5, that eliminates Cuba and may prove costly also for Australia.
The game developed as a pitching duel between Cuba’s Mayumis Solano and Hung Yik Shan, the starter for Hong Kong. In the top of the fourth Hong Kong made it to the scoreboard. NG Wing Hin led off bunting for the base hit. Solano issued a walk and then gave up an RBI single to Janice Lau. The second run scored on a ground out.
Cuba went after Yik Shan and scored four in the bottom half of the frame. Libia Crespo and Yordanka Leon hit back to back singles. Jessica Herrera and Yamisleydi Perez added another pair of hits and Cuba took fool advantage of a defensive error.
Cuba entered the seventh and final inning with a 5-3 lead and handed the ball to reliever Isabel Gonzalez. The newcomer recorded the first out, then gave up base to base hits to pinch hitter Fung Siu Ping and Lau Tsz Chin. Cuba gave a quick call to the bull pen. Dianelis Porro entered the game and recorded the second out as Janice Lau bunted the runners to second and third. Porro walked Mui Wing to load the bases and Cheuk Woon Yee tied the game with a 2 RBI single. The bases loaded again on another walk but Cheung Tan Lee cleared them with a double to left. To get out of the inning Cuba sent to the mound Eleyenni Lianet.
With 2 outs in the bottom of the seventh, Cuba put the potential tying runs on base on back to back singles by Yordanka Rodriguez and Maryelbis Ferro. Hung Yik Shan got Arianna Garcia to ground out and record the historical win.