Chinese Taipei win back-to-back U-12 Softball World Cup titles

Chinese Taipei win back-to-back U-12 Softball World Cup titles
The II WBSC U-12 Softball World Cup medal games both went to extra innings, with Chinese Taipei defending their title against the Czech Republic and Singapore winning bronze. It was the first title for Chinese Taipei since 2019 and for the Czech Republic it was their best ever finish in a WBSC tournament while for Singapore, it was their first ever medal.

The final day of the II WBSC U-12 Softball World Cup on Sunday at Jin-Long Stadium was full of drama and entertainment as the medal games both went to extra innings, with hosts Chinese Taipei winning back-to-back titles after beating the Czech Republic, and Singapore claiming the bronze medal against Hong Kong.

Yi-Cheng Liang was the game-changer in the sixth inning for Chinese Taipei as he scored the winning run to secure the title with a 3-2 victory over the Czech Republic.

“There was a lot of pressure for me and I was so nervous when I reached second to third base, but when I was able to run to the home plate, I felt relieved and so happy,” Liang said.

The Czechs scored the first two runs in the game but Chinese Taipei trailed by one run by the end of the first inning with Liang also scoring the opening run for the hosts. Chinese Taipei tied the tied game in the fourth before Laing performed his extra innings heroics.

“We started the game with a lot of errors and we gave away two runs to our opponents. The atmosphere was quite intense and we felt a lot of pressure in the beginning. So we tried to adjust our own plays and watched the speed of the ball from the Czech pitcher to find a way to counter that and force some errors on them too. In the end, we won the game because of their errors,” Chinese Taipei coach Tsi-Chu-Wu said.

“I am just overwhelmed to pitch in this game and to win MVP. I want to thank my coach, my teammates and the parents who always support us. The only thing on my mind in this game is to get as many strikeouts as I can and to limit the strong Czech Republic batters from converting many hits into runs,” tournament MVP Yuan-Hsi Tien added.

Chinese Taipei have now won the two first editions of the U-12 Softball World Cup while the Czech Republic collected their best ever result in the WBSC tournament with the silver medal bettering the bronze medal from the 2019 edition and a second bronze at the WBSC U-18 Softball World Cup in 2020.

Meanwhile, the bronze medal game between Singapore and Hong Kong also went down-to-the-wire, with the Southeast Asian squad rallying to a 9-8 victory in extras.

With the game locked at 6-6 going into the tie breaker, Singapore's Edwin See loaded the bases with a single, leading to a three-run score in the top of the sixth. Hong Kong replied with two runs of their own only to fall short with Colin Cheung being tagged out at home plate.

“It’s very great exposure for both teams. This game was played with high intensity and pressure, and I think both teams delivered and played well today. We are evenly matched and when you play a game like this, the team that makes the least mistakes and makes the most hits wins the game,” Singapore head coach Elaine Chua said.

Singapore’s bronze medal victory was a redemption for their 7-6 loss to Hong Kong in the Opening Round and their first ever podium finish in a WBSC tournament.