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XVII Women's Softball World Cup 2024 - Finals - Official Payoff
26/07/2023 7 Minute Read

Japan and Canada claim Group C tickets to the WBSC Women's Softball World Cup Finals 2024; Italy and China advance as two wild cards with Group Stage now complete

The final day of the WBSC Women's Softball World Cup Group C started with Venezuela beating New Zealand in the playoff for fifth and sixth place. Italy then beat the Philippines in a rain-affected cliff hanger. Japan beat Canada in the final.

Olympic champions Japan and Tokyo 2020 bronze medallists Canada “punched tickets” to the WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup Finals 2024 after finishing first and second respectively at the WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup Group C tournament in Buttrio and Castions di Strada, Italy on Wednesday.

Group C completes a trilogy of tournaments in the WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup Group Stage which also saw defending world champions USA and Australia advance from Group A in Ireland and world No. 4 Puerto Rico and European champions the Netherlands book tickets in Group B in Spain.

The remaining two spots for the Finals 2024 went to Italy and China as the highest placed third-placed team across the three groups from the WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup 2018 (Italy finished 7th, China 10th and Great Britain 11th).

Group C Final Graphics

Earlier in the day, Japan beat Canada in the final of Group C 7-1 while Italy beat the Philippines in the playoff for third and fourth 6-5 in another pulsating game. Venezuela and New Zealand started the day with the fifth and sixth place playoff, which Venezuela won 4-0, exactly the same result from the 2018 World Cup.

The repechage game between Canada and Italy was not played for health and safety reasons considering the bad weather in the area and the potential late start time of the game since the final finished at 22:50. It did not affect final positions in the tournament as both teams had already booked spots in the WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup Finals 2024.

Day 5 Results
5th-6th place playoff 0-4New Zealand v Venezuela Box ScoreHighlights
3rd v 4th playoff **5-6 Philippines v ItalyBox ScoreHighlights
Final* ***7-1Japan v CanadaBox ScoreHighlights
Repechage****Loser of Final v Winner of 3rd v 4th

* Winner of game "punched a ticket" to the WBSC Women's Softball World Cup Finals 2024
** Game suspended at 15:08 due to weather delay with Italy leading 5-3 in the top of the 4th, the Philippines at bat with two runners on, no outs. Game restarted at 17:46.
*** Game paused at 19:45 due to weather delay with the score 0-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Canada had one out with one runner on. Game resumed at 20:25. Game paused again at 20:30 due to lightening. Game resumed at 20:55.
****The repechage game between Canada and Italy was not played for health and safety reasons considering the bad weather in the area and the potential late start time of the game since the final finished at 22:50. It did not affect final positions in the tournament as both teams had already booked spots in the WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup Finals 2024.

20230726_G18_JPN-CAN_WSWC_GroupC_060 Group C

Final: Japan v Canada

The final of Group C is underway with light rain falling. Canada will be looking to repeat the upset result of Monday when the beat Japan 6-5.

Game got underway at 19:30. At 19:42 the rain starts to fall heavier. Game continues in the bottom of the first 0-0.

19:45 the game is paused due to the weather. Thunder starts to sound around the venue. Both teams still in their dugouts so hoping this is a short delay.

19:55 The rain is less strong than before and tournament officials are now out on the diamond checking its suitability for a restart. There's a little bit of surface water but with the rain stopping, let's hope for a quick restart.

20:00 Yuck, heavy rain starting to fall again.

20:10 Rain stopped and umpires now out on the field, which is usually a good sign. Teams still in their dugouts. Waiting on word on when we can possibly restart.

Game to restart at 20:25.

The sun is out, unfortunately so are rain and thunder clouds.

But at 20:25 game resumes, with the score 0-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Canada has one out with one runner on.

20:30 Game paused again with thunder and lightening getting closer

20:53 Good news, players coming back out and two minutes later play is back on with the the thunder and lightening seemingly passed on.

Japan are on the board in the top of the second after Minori Naito and Nodoko Harada work themselves to third and second base, before Yume Kirishi skies a fly ball, which was lined up by left fielder Erika Polidori but dropped short, out of reach, where shortstop Janet Leung would have taken an easy catch if she had stayed in her originally position.

Ayane Nakagawa hit a ground ball to Larissa Franklin in left field to score Harada before a sac fly by Kyoko Ishikawa scored Kirishi from third. Japan 3-0 up with two outs in the second. Kanna Kudo also collected a hit to Kelsey Harshman at second base and after her indecision to either throw to first or third, Kudo got on. Meanwhile, Harshman decided to throw to third but it was a difficult one to take on the bounce by third base Emma Entzminger allowing Nakagawa to get home unchallenged. Japan 4-0 after the second.

Japanese defence at it's best with a superb double play by third base Haruka Sumitani and a tidy pick up, twist and throw to first by pitcher Miu Goto made for a relatively quiet inning for Canada. 4-0 to Japan after two innings.

Canada pulled off a great double play of their own in top of the third. With three on for Japan, Yui Nakamizo's hit to Morgan Rackel, who came on for Sara Groenewegen, was quickly turned into a 123 GDP to close the innings with Japan still ahead 4-0.

Canada got on the board after some confusion between the bases. After Natalie Wideman was out between third and home it was then game on for Japan for the double play but while trying to tag out Leung at second, Harshman reached home on the steal. 4-1 Japan after three.

Kawabata scored in the top of the fifth on Naito's single to left field to extend Japan's lead to 5-1 before in the top of 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.

3rd v 4th: Philippines v Italy

A repeat of last night's last Opening Round game will be all the fans will be asking for after the Philippines won the game with a walk off win to claim a spot int he play offs.

The Philippines, ranked 26th in the world, started where they left off last night with a sore in the first inning. Alaiza Talisik continuing her good form with a single to left field to score Skylynne Ellazar from second base. The Philippines lead 1-0 after the first innings.

While the Philippines seemed to be still riding the wave of last night's euphoria, Italy still struggled to click, that is until the bottom of the second. With Elisa Cecchetti on second and Fabrizia Marrone on first, Giulia Koutsoyanopulos smashes a bomb over centre field to put Italy ahead 3-1.

But just like night, the Philippines weren't prepared to give up and the top of the third, with Italy loading the bases again (like last night), Elsie del Torre lasers a ground ball to the left of Guilia Longhi at third base and Francesca Altomonte and Ellazar scoot home to tie the ball game at 3-3.

Fans starting to look not only down at the field but also in sky with dark clouds starting to approach. And now the sound of thunder. Play continues under the sun for now.

And it's shining a lot brighter for Italy as Koutsoyanopulos contunes her red hot form with another hit, this time to left field to score Cecchetti and Longhi. Italy ahead 5-3.

15:07 and the scoreboard comes down for safety reasons and at 15:08 the the game is stopped for weather reasons. No rain yet, but thunder and lightening is circling. Rain now starting to fall lightly.

15:14 and now the heavy rain, thunder and lightening arrives. Teams and spectators have left the field and now it's a matter of letting this storm pass and see when we can play again.

16:00 Rain starting to lighten and thunder clouds look to have passed. Although in the same direction where the first storm cloud came from, there is more nasty weather looking like it's heading our way. Inspection currently taking place to see what the state of play is. Currently a lot of surface water around.

16:10 Some major work needed to remove the surface water. Unofficial time for a game restart is 18:00.

17:10 Aiming now to resume ITA-PHI at 17:45 while JPN-CAN potentially starting at not later than 19:45

17:46 Players back on the field, as a new thunder storm sounds in the distance, with Italy leading 5-3 in the top of the 4th. The Philippines at bat with two runners on, no outs.

Italy claims the first out of the innings before Altomonte hits well into deep centre right field to score the two runners on base - Gabriel Angelu and Reyae Villamin. Game tied at 5-5.

17:55 Lights come at the start of the fifth inning as the sun still sits behind dark clouds but the electronic scoreboard is back in play, which is a good sign.

Italy back in the lead with McKenzie Barbara's sac fly to deep right centre field scores Alessandro Rotondo. Italy ahead 6-5.

Nice touch by a gentleman in the crowd. After a foul ball "frightened" some of the younger patrons he kindly walked over and offered is softball glove for catching practice next time a foul ball comes there way.

Straight away, the Philippines turn on some great defence with short stop Gabriel making a superb backhand pick up off Andrea Filler's ground ball, over to first for dela Torre to stretch and make the out.

18:13 Rain starts to fall lightly again and with a bolt of lightning not far in the distance, all eyes are on the weather again.

Top of the sixth and great defence from Italy this time to keep the score at 6-5 with a superb double play from Filler at first - catching Magaud and then reaching first as Ellazar back tracked - ending the inning with two runners on.

We enter the seventh, and in the bottom half, with more drama just like yesterday's thriller. Score still 6-5 to Italy and the Blu Girls' Nicole Hammoude gets herself to second before Gabriel hits through the legs of Longhi at third base, however Hammoude couldn't get home. With everyone waiting to see who would be the Philippines' hero this time, it was acually Italy pitcher Alice Nicolini this time as she managed claim the win, with Villamin popping to Filler at first base and game over. Italy through to the repechage game, Philippines finish fourth.

5th v 6th place: New Zealand v Venezuela

First game up today sees a repeat of the superb Opening Round game on Monday, which New Zealand won 4-3. In that game, Katrina Nukunuku produced two runs for the Kiwis while Loran Parker recorded the win from the circle.

Venezuela won the Placement Game between these two teams in 2018 by 4-0 to finish 12th and 13th respectively.

Tight ball game in the first four innings with only four and five hits to Venezuela and New Zealand respectively but it was Venezuelan third base Yuruby Alicart who broke the deadlock with a bomb over left field to put the world No. 22 up 3-0, scoring Bailey Olerich and Kimberly Caicedo in the process.

Diana Arcay also got home in the same inning on a sacrifice fly from Yusneiby Acacio to make it 4-0 with the confidence in the Venezuelan taking a major boost. And in the end that was the only scoring of the game with Venezuela playing solid defence to reverse Monday's loss and repeat the 4-0 win of 2018 and finish 5th in Group C.

Pregame

Welcome to the fifth and final day of the WBSC Women's Softball World Cup Group C taking place in Buttrio and Castions di Strada in the Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

After yesterday's dramatic last day of round-robin pool play action, we now have four games to see which teams will claim the two tickets to the WBSC Women's Softball World Cup Finals 2024.

Beautiful sunshine graced us for the beginning of today's playoffs at Campo Comunale da Softball in Castions di Strada, where two teams will book a ticket to the Finals 2024.

Not a surprise that yesterday's dramatic win by the Philippines over Italy where they clinched a playoff spot with the last play of the game and the Opening Round has made major headlines, especially in the Philippines.

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