Australia Pacific Cup: Japan sole leader after second day

Australia Pacific Cup: Japan sole leader after second day
World No. 2 Japan shutout No. 10 Italy and No. 16 New Zealand to remain undefeated in the tournament.

Japan sits on top of the standings after two days of competition at the Australian Pacific Cup with a perfect win:loss record of 4:0. The Aussie Spirit divided their games on Friday, with a win against Chinese Taipei and a loss to Mexico, and finished the day in second place.

The tournament is being played at Blacktown International Sportspark in Sydney, Australia, with four of the six Olympic teams participating.

Two-way player Yamato Fujita hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first and pitched 6.1 scoreless innings to lead Japan to a 2-0 victory over Italy, giving her team their third win of the tournament. Later, the Japanese offence scored on their four opportunities against New Zealand to seal an 8-0 win in five innings, to finish the second day with a perfect record.

Hosts Aussie Spirit defeated Chinese Taipei, 5-1, in their first appearance of the day. Left-hander Kaia Parnaby earned the win, pitching five innings. However, in the last game of the day, world No. 5 Mexico defeated Aussie Spirit by a score of 3-2, with a complete-game performance by Mexican ace Dallas Escobedo, who surrendered two hits and two runs to clinch a key win for her team. Mexico also defeated Australia A, 4-3, and is tied in third place with Italy and Chinese Taipei, who both have a 2:2 record.

The Italian side earned their second win of the weekend against New Zealand, after a two-hit, 10-strikeout shutout by Greta Cecchetti. Italy scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth, including a two-run inside the park home run by Laura Vigna to end the game.

In the first game of the day, No. 6 Chinese Taipei defeated Australia A by a score of 3-2.

Day 2 Results

Chinese Taipei 3-2 Australia A
Japan 2-0 Italy
Aussie Spirit 5-1 Chinese Taipei
Mexico 4-3 Australia A
Japan 8-0 New Zealand
Mexico 3-2 Aussie Spirit
Italy 8-0 New Zealand

Day 3 schedule (all times are local-Greenwich + 11 hours)

9:00 am - Aussie Spirit v New Zealand
9:00 am - Italy v Chinese Taipei
11:30 am - Australia A v Japan
5:00 pm - Australia A v Italy
5:00 pm - Mexico v Chinese Taipei
7:30 pm - Aussie Spirit v Japan
7:30 pm - Mexico v New Zealand

Softball Australia will stream day 3 action from Diamond 1 through their Facebook page, Sunday's Semi-Final and Grand Final will be broadcast live on FOX SPORTS Australia. International viewers will be able to tune in through the Olympic Channel on Sunday 2 February.

Previous Stories:
Australia Pacific Cup: Japan, Aussie Spirit undefeated after Day 1
Australia Pacific Cup: Four Olympic softball teams in action
Softball Australia rosters announced for Australia Pacific Cup ahead of Olympic year