Hsia-Ai Ke’s gem gives Chinese Taipei World Games bronze medal

Hsia-Ai Ke’s gem gives Chinese Taipei World Games bronze medal
14/07/2022
This is Chinese Taipei’s first medal at a softball world championship in 20 years, and the third overall podium.

Behind a superb performance of young ace Hsia-Ai Ke, Chinese Taipei earned the bronze medal in The World Games softball competition. This is Chinese Taipei’s first podium at a world championship level in 20 years, and the third overall podium. They were third place in the 2002 Women's Softball World Championship and runner-up in 1982 on home soil.

“Definitely it will help the development of softball in Chinese Taipei,” said head coach Hsin-Lin Han, Olympian in Atlanta 1996, through the team interpreter. “It’s been a long time since our last medal, it will help us put softball in the spotlight in our country. This is a milestone for us, even if we’ve been in the top of the ranking for a long time, it’s been long time since the last medal.”

Ke pitched an absolute gem against Australia. She tossed a 2-hit shutout, striking out 4 with 2 walks. Ke led Chinese Taipei to the U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup silver medal last year.

In the bottom of the first, designated player Chia-Yi Chen drove in the first run of the game with a single through the middle of the field, to put Chinese Taipei in front, 1-0. 

In the second, Chinese Taipei loaded the bases with no outs, and then veteran Yi-Ting Yang and Feng-Chen Lin plated one each with a single to center field. The Chinese Taipei squad tallied four hits in the inning.

Two innings later, the Asian squad loaded the bases again and scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by Feng-Chen Lin, her second RBI of the game. Chinese Taipei added one more in the fifth. Chia-Yi Chen tripled to leadoff the inning, and scored on a squeeze play; while Hsuan Liu scored the last run of the game on a double steal.

Australia finished in fourth place in this competition, same position they earned in the World Championship Chiba 2018.

Hsia-Ai Ke: "I just want to get better and better."

Hsia-Ai ke has won a pair of WBSC World Cup medals in 8 months. She led the Chinese Taipei team to a silver medal at the WBSC U-18 Women's Softball World Cup, and now she helped her team earn a third place.

“The difference between the U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup and The World Games has been the amount of pressure,” Ke said. “But at the same time I felt the support of my teammates, that are stronger and more experienced than the U-18 team.” 

Asked how she feels about being the present and future of the Chinese Taipei program, she said: “I just want to get better and better with the years. And maybe after 10 or 15 years I want to be the head coach of the national team,” Ke said, looking to head coach Hsin-Lin Han with a smile. "She's been my idol."