WWC DAY 5 RECAP
JAPAN WINS BATTLE OF THE UNBEATENS
In a game that lived up to its advanced billing, reigning Olympic gold medalist Japan edged Canada, 2-1, at the ISF women’s world championship, among other games today.
2010-06-27 Daily Report from ISF
CARACAS, VENEZUELA — And then there were two.
Just 24 hours after a recap reporting Canada, Japan, and USA being the teams still holding unbeaten records thus far at the International Softball Federation’s XII Women’s World Championship being played here, the Canadians are now gone from that list.
Japan got a complete-game, seven-strikeout performance from pitcher Mika Someya and a fifth inning Ayumi Karino single that scored Shizuyo Hamamoto to drop Team Canada to 4-1. The winners had taken a 1-0 lead when Satoko Mabuchi scored in the bottom of the fourth, but Canada came right back in the top of the fifth when Jennifer Yee drove in Melanie Matthews.
Danielle Lawrie got the start for Canada but was relieved by Jenna Caira for the sixth and what would be final inning.
The tournament’s other unbeaten, Team USA, moved to 5-0 by way of a 9-2 victory over Australia, who’d entered the game with just one loss. The Aussies came in on a three-game winning streak, all by a shutout.
Australia starting pitcher Aimee Murch gave up three runs in the first inning as three consecutive Team USA batters doubled. Karina Cannon came on to pitch the second inning but gave up two runs and coach Fabian Barlow made another change for the third inning, bringing in Kaia Parnaby, who gave up a two-run home run to Jennie Finch.
Winning pitcher Cat Osterman retired the first nine batters before a bit of a rocky fourth inning in which the Aussies tallied both of their runs to cut the USA lead to 7-2.
Joining Canada at 4-1 are the Netherlands and Venezuela. The latter thrilled another boisterous home crowd tonight with a 5-2 triumph over New Zealand.
Venezuela second baseplayer Yurubi Alicart went 2-for-3 at the plate, including a home run. New Zealand had jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but the home team got three runs in the bottom of the third and two more in the bottom of the fourth.
Regarding her home run, Alicart said, “I really didn’t know it was a home run. I was expecting a change-up, and she threw a change-up, and I just threw my hands (out) and it went out of the park. I’m really glad it was in the right moment.”
Winning pitcher Johana Gomez started in the circle for Venezuela tonight and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing both New Zealand runs, before Mariangee Bogado came in to close the door on the Kiwis for the last one-and-a-third innings. Sheree Cartwright was tagged with the loss, having pitched the first four innings for New Zealand, giving up all five Venezuela runs before Megan Farrell came on in relief for the fifth and sixth innings.
Meanwhile, the Dutch raised their record to 4-1 thanks to a 7-0 shutout of South Africa (0-5). The European champions scored two runs in the top of the second inning, three in the fourth and two more in the fifth, which would be the final inning as a result of the ISF’s run-ahead rule that makes a game final/official if a team is leading by 15 runs after three innings, ten after four, or seven after five. Areke Spel had three hits, including a home run, and pitcher Dagmar Bloeming did not allow a hit for the team’s third straight victory.
Regardless of the outcome, this matchup was a milestone in Dutch national softball team history as it marked their 500th official international game. Just over 50 years ago (May 29, 1960) the first-ever Dutch national softball team international game took place in the form of a 4-3 victory over the visiting Italy team.
This morning had begun with Chinese Taipei defeating Argentina, 6-3. Lu Hsueh Mei led the way with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate. A four-run bottom of the third inning made the difference as the Taiwanese lifted their record to 3-2. Argentina (1-4) couldn’t capitalize on a 3-for-4 outing from Agustina Godoy. Chiu An Ju pitched a complete-game six-hitter for the win.
Cuba bounced back from two losses yesterday by a combined score of 4-0 to defeat Great Britain tonight, 4-1. All of the scoring came on home runs as pitcher Stacie Townsend hit a solo shot in the top of the fourth inning, but Maritja Toledo hit a two-out grand slam in the bottom half of the inning to help Cuba improve to 2-3. Great Britain was held to just four hits in dropping to 1-4.
China climbed above .500 (3-2) with a big 7-0 win over the Dominican Republic (1-4). Ironically, every one of China’s games thus far – win or lose – has resulted in the losing team being shutout.
Things don’t get any easier for the Dominican Republic as they go up against unbeaten Team USA tomorrow afternoon.
The Czech Republic is now 3-2 following a close victory over Botswana this evening, 5-4. Although winless through five games, this had to be a moral victory for Botswana who had only scored one run in their four prior games combined. The Czechs will finish up round robin play against two tough opponents in China tomorrow and Team USA on Tuesday.
end of ISF report
SPY Note: A non-ISF source complimented the Venezuelans today in a note to SPY on housing, transportation and translation services. Teams have been confined to hotels and the ball parks, but the Venezuelans go out of their way to be friendly. While they have worked hard, the facilities are still not complete. Back home, readers complain that a world-class tournament is not available on on a readily-accessible television channel.