13/09/2023 - 17/09/2023

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IX Women's Baseball World Cup 2023 - Group B | presented by CARNEXT - Official Payoff
Onodera, timely hitting lead Japan over Chinese Taipei and to Finals 2024
16/09/2023 2 Minute Read

Onodera, timely hitting lead Japan over Chinese Taipei and to Finals 2024

Kana Onodera threw a complete game shutout, limiting Chinese Taipei to four hits and retiring the final 12 outs in order. Yuki Kawabata and Kae Iwami provided the RBI hits.

World No. 1 Japan defeated No. 2 Chinese Taipei, 2-0, at the end of a well-played game on the fourth day of the IX WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup Group B, presented by CARNEXT.

Japan and Chinese Taipei played in front of an over 2,400 fans. "I'm delighted and proud. We could showcase top level baseball in front of such an audience" said Madonna Japan manager Risa Nakashima.

Kana Onodera threw a complete-game shutout, allowing only four hits. The last was a leadoff single in the fourth. She retired the next 12 batters she faced.

"It felt really good receiving the support of the fans. Their cheering really supported me," said Onodera to the local press. "I'm not sure if I will make next year's team, but hopefully I will. We still have a game to play tomorrow."

Japan's lineup combined six hits. Two proved timely: Yuki Kawabata in the third and Kae Iwami in the fourth provided the RBI hits.

"This is the fifth World Cup I participated in," commented Kawabata after the game. "The level of the play is much higher than before, especially batting. I also saw many nice defensive plats. It was not easy to score. So I should be prepared for high-level competition next year in Canada."

Chinese Taipei got into scoring position in the top of the first on a one-out throwing error. Japan's starter, Kana Onodera, got out of the inning, getting right fielder Chiao Yun Huang swinging at her changeup.

Centre fielder Iori Miura hit a one-out single off Chinese Taipei starter Hsiao Chien Wang. She stole second and advanced on a failed pick-off attempt. She became the second out at home as Yuki Kawabata softly grounded to shortstop.

Japan displayed their defensive skills in the top of the second. With Chia Yu Lin at first and no one out, Yu CHuan Tu squared for the sacrifice bunt. Starting pitcher Kana Onodera fired to shortstop Kae Iwami to start a double play.

Hsiao Chien Wang reached on a one-out single in the top of the third. Yu Ying Hsieh added a single to left field and brought her to second. Onodera retired the next two batters in order and ended the at-bat.

Japan took the lead in the bottom of the third. Miura hit a two-out infield single and stole second to get in scoring position. First base Yuki Kawabata singled on a blooper to left field to score her from second.

Right fielder Miwa Naraoka followed with a sharp grounder to the hole in the left. Yu Ying Hsieh got to the ball diving and got Kawabata as she overran third.

Chiao Yun Huang led off the fourth with a single. She would be the last Chinese Taipei batter to reach base. Onodera retired 12 in a row, cruising to the win.

Japan scored an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth. Designated hitter Hakari Hoshikawa drew a leadoff walk and advanced on second base Haruna Tadano's perfectly executed sacrifice bunt. Iwami made it 2-0 with an RBI single.

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Japan will defend their Women's Baseball World Title next year in the Finals in Thunder Bay, Canada. They will play No. 7 Cuba in their last game of Group B. Chinese Taipei will face No. 16 France on Sunday, 17 September, at 10:30 local time.