22/07/2023 - 26/07/2023

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XVII Women's Softball World Cup 2023 - Group C - Official Payoff

Japan advance to the Finals 2024 with 7-1 win over Canada

Japan advance to the Finals 2024 with 7-1 win over Canada
26/07/2023
Once again aces Miu Goto and Yukiko Ueno were instrumental in Japan’s win.

Japan became the fifth team to punch a ticket to the Finals 2024, with a 7-1 win over Canada in the final of the WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup Group C. Once again aces Miu Goto and Yukiko Ueno were instrumental in Japan’s win.

Japan scored four times in the second inning, in an uncharacteristic bad defensive frame by Canada. The Tokyo 2020 bronze medal team committed two errors in the inning and misread a fly ball, opening the door for the Japanese big inning. Yume Kiriishi, Ayane Nakagawa and Kyoko Ishikawa recorded RBIs for Japan.

Miu Goto started for Japan, and pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, allowing two hits while striking out one. In the third inning, head coach Reika Utsugi sent Misaki Katsumata into the circle with one out, but the fireballer failed to get an out, walking Natalie Wideman and serving a double to Kelsey Harshman. Katsumata was replaced by Yukiko Ueno, who forced Janet Leung to a grounder to first base that almost forced a double play, but ended on a Canada run after some crazy baserunning.

Wideman was called out in a rundown between third and home plate, and then Leung was caught between first and second on another rundown. However she managed to reach second base safe, and allowed Harshman to score in the same play.

Japan added one run in the top of the fifth with an RBI single from Minori Naito to score Hitomi Kawabata. 

In the seventh, Kiriishi's nice hit down the left foul line scored Naito while Kiriishi got home on a wild pitch to end the scoring and the game at 7-1.

Japan join USA, Australia, Puerto Rico and Netherlands as the teams advancing to the Finals 2024.