WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP DAY 3 RECAP
OLYMPIC REMATCHES HIGHLIGHT DAY 3 GAMES
Four of the ten games scheduled for today at the women’s world championship would bring teams back together that faced each other at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.
CARACAS, VENEZUELA — Two days ago was Olympic Day although that could’ve been the theme of today’s ten games played at the International Softball Federation’s XII Women’s World Championship being played here.
The Day 3 schedule saw four of the ten games bringing teams back together who faced each other during the Olympic softball competition almost two years ago in Beijing.
The evening ended with one of those, as Team USA played its second game of the day, handing Venezuela their first loss, 7-0. In one of the first games of the day, Canada ran their won-lost record to 2-0 with a 5-2 triumph over Chinese Taipei. The other pair of Olympic rematches was Japan’s 4-0 victory against the Netherlands and Australia’s 2-0 victory over China.
Tonight’s win by the Americans was witnessed by yet another capacity crowd and capped off a day that the red, white, and blue had started with a big 12-2 win over New Zealand. The triumph over the Kiwis was shortened (four innings) by the run-ahead rule and saw Team USA score six runs in each of the bottom of the second and third innings. New Zealand came back with a pair in the top of the fourth, including a home run by Sheree Cartwright.
Mother Nature tried to have some say in the U.S.-Venezuela game, but only temporarily suspended play. However, heavy enough rain at the other venue forced the Canada-Argentina game to be suspended. It will now take place off-site tomorrow night at 7pm local time.
Asked whether or not it had been disappointing to see their opponent mount a slight comeback in the seventh inning after Canada had established such solid defensive play in most of the innings prior, coach Mark Smith said, “Not really. We played 14 innings in 13 hours… The goal is to not make errors and I thought it was a gutsy performance. We got a full team effort.”
Indeed they did as Chinese Taipei gave up ten hits – including two home runs – to the Canadians and Danielle Lawrie contributed from the pitching circle with a complete-game victory.
Not to be outdone, Monica Abbott stole the spotlight from the same spot in Team USA’s win this evening. She pitched a complete, five-inning game (shortened by the ISF’s run-ahead rule) and allowed only one hit while striking out eight Venezuelan batters. Johana Gomez struck out three and took the loss but had helped hold the game scoreless after three innings.
In the top of the fourth, however, designated player Tammy Williams hit a two-run, inside-the-park home run that would provide all the offense Team USA would need, along with a cloud of controversy as Venezuela coach Kim Wright vehemently argued the home plate umpire’s call. Things didn’t get any better for her team the next inning though as the host team saw the Americans score five more times.
The Japan-Netherlands Olympic rematch almost finished with the same score as at the Games in 2008. Back then it was 3-0 and this time Japan scored just one more run than that. A three-run bottom of the third inning was the difference maker today and an insurance run one inning later helped ice the victory. Misato Kawano was 2-for-2 for the winners, with both hits being doubles. Nathalie Gosewehr was 2-for-3 at the plate in defeat.
Makiko Fujiwara threw a complete-game for Japan. Rebecca Soumeru started in the circle for the Dutch but was relieved after three innings by Kirsten Scheele.
Australia had defeated China 3-1 at the Olympics and this time won by a two-run decision as well. Danielle Stewart led the way, going 2-for-3 at the plate while pitcher Justine Smethurst went the distance for the win, just under 24 hours after having started but given way to Aimee Murch in the loss to Venezuela.
For China, Wang Lan pitched a complete game but her team managed only three hits and fell to 1-2 thus far in round robin play.
In another close game, the tournament got its first extra innings decision when the Czech Republic edged New Zealand today, 6-5, in eight innings. The winners had been up 2-0 after five-and-a-half innings but the White Sox tallied three runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a one-run lead.
The Czechs scored twice in the top of the seventh to take the lead back, but New Zealand was able to tie it at four to force an extra inning. In the top of the eighth the Czech Republic scored twice, and the Kiwis were only able to respond with one run in the bottom half of the inning to fall to 1-2.
Megan Farrel pitched the entire eight innings for New Zealand, who were led offensively by Brooke Luckhart (2-for-3). The Czech Republic finished with ten hits, including four of the extra base variety.
The Dominican Republic got their first win of the tournament after two losses, shutting out Botswana today, 6-0. Six different players had one hit each in the win while 18-year old Hannah Penna picked up the win, pitching a complete-game four-hitter. All of the scoring came in the first (three runs) and sixth innings.
Cuba was on the losing end of that same score last night but bounced back today to beat South Africa, 10-1, to even their record at 1-1. The winners scored five times in the bottom of the first inning and tacked on four more runs in their next at-bat, with Cuba finishing with a team total of 11 hits. Yaleisa Soto Linares herself almost matched Botswana’s hit total (four) by going 3-for-3 at the plate. The game was shortened by the ISF’s run-ahead rule (15 after three, ten after four, or seven after five).
Chinese Taipei won a close game with Great Britain, 3-0, for their first victory of the tournament. The loss dropped Great Britain to 1-2. The winners put up seven hits while holding GB to just three. Two Great Britain players went 2-for-3 at the plate but it wasn’t enough to overcome pitcher Lin Su Hua and Chinese Taipei’s defense.
A non-ISF source reports: Fields are playable but much has not been completed. All big games are being moved to the secondary field as it is more ready for fans than the main stadium. The USA game with Venezuela was moved to that field tonight. Internet here is very spotty.