Japan Edges USA
Japan edged the USA 4-3 to advance to the finals of the Canadian Open fastpitch tournament. In double elimination, USA will play Australia later this afternoon; Australia run-ruled Canada 8-1 (5). The Winner will play Japan for the championship.
USA scored a run, top 2nd. Kaitlin Cochran walked. But was p]out at 2nd. Stacy May-Johnson singled, and scored on Valerie Arioto’s double.
Japan answered with 3 runs in the bottom half off USA starter Whitney Canion. With two out and Fujiono on 1st (single). Ueno was given a pass. Mine singled in the tying run. A walk to Kageyama loaded the bases. A wild pitch Allowed Ueno to score; Yamada was given a pass. Furuta drove in Mine, 3-1 Japan. The three runs were charged ti Canion, who was relieved by Chesea Thomas.
After four complete, Japan relieved long-time USA nemesis Yukiko Ueno, who had given up the first USA run, walking 3, striking out 4, and yielding 4 hits.
Top 5th: Lauren Gibson singled, but was out when Michelle Moultrie hit into a fielder’s choice. Moultrie advanced on Rhea Taylor’s single. With two out, Moultrie scored on Cochran’s single.
Top 6th: with two out, Ashley Holoconbe singled. With Kelly Grieve in to run, Gibson singled. Grieve scored the tying run on Moultrie’s single.
Top 7th: Megan Langenfeld and Cochran hit consecutive singles. Stacy May-Johnson ground out to the pitcher, Someya. Arioto drew an intentional walk, loading the bases. Jenae Leles flied out to short. Brittany Schutte worked a 3-2 count, struck out swinging.
Bottom 7th: Mine led with a double. Kageyama reaches on a fielder’s choice, pinch runner Matsumoto scores the winning run on an error by Gibson at 2nd.
Thomas pitched a very commendable game, giving up just 2 hits, striking out 8. The USA outhit Japan 11-4, but left the bases loaded in the 7th.