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Updated: February 2, 2018
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Henk Seppen)

Japan adds two victories on Day 2 of Asia Pacific Cup

BLACKTOWN, Greater Western Sydney, New South Wales (Australia) - Japan, ranked second on the WBSC ranking list, added two more victories on the second day of the Asia Pacific Cup in Blacktown, near Sydney (Australia). On Friday (February 2), Japan won 10-0 against New Zealand, then also shutout host Australia in the evening with a 3-0 score to remain unbeaten.

Australia, which also had won twice on Thursday, today opened with a 3-1 win against the All Stars. The preliminary round of the event closes on Saturday, then the finals are played on Sunday.

European vice-champion Italy today lost against China (5-0) and Chinese Taipei (8-1) and is still winless after four games.

Italy opened its second day with a 5-0 loss against China. The Asian squad took an 1-0 lead in the third inning. With runners on second and third base and no outs, the lead runner was eliminated at the plate on a grounder. After an intentional walk had loaded the bases, a run was scored when Jia Xu walked.. Three runners were left behind when a force play at the plate followed and a line drive from Yining Liu was caught by 2B Mariel Bertossi.

...Giulia Longhi playing for for Italy during the...
...World Championship 2014 in Haarlem (Netherlands)...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the fifth inning, China took more distance by scoring three runs on only one basehit, which had no influence on the scoring. Ying Lu led off with a single, but was forced out. Hereafter, the bases got loaded after a walk and hit batter. The runs were then scored on an error, a wild pitch and a passed ball. A double by Jia Chen accounted for the fifth Chinese run in the sixth at bat.

Italy came close to a run in the second inning. With runners on first and second base, the lead runner was eliminated at the plate trying to score on a single by Marta Gasparotto to end the inning. In the fourth, Italy left runners behind on second and third base. Trailing 5-0, Italy got the bases loaded in the seventh inning. With two outs, Elene Chiesa singled, Mariel Bertossi reached on an error and Fabrizia Marrone walked, but a grounder ended the inning and the game.

In the evening, Italy suffered a bigger loss to Chinese Taipei, 8-1. Trailing 1-0, Italy came alongside in the bottom of the first inning, thanks to a double by Priscilla Brandi. This was to be the lone Italian scoring opportunity in this game. Taipei then rallied for five runs in the second at bat to decide the game, hightlighted by a 2-run triple by Feng-Chen Lin. A single by Feng-Chen Lin and a sacrifice fly from Hsuan Liu lifted the lead to 8-1 in the fourth inning.

Marta Gasparotto and Giulia Longhi had a basehit in both games for Italy.

In its first game on Day 2, Japan rallied for eight runs on eight basehits in the bottom of the first inning against New Zealand. Japan opened the score when Nodoka Harada led off with a homerun. Hereafter, Hitomi Kawabata singled and later scored on a single by Natsuko Sugama. After the latter had stolen second base, more scoring was done when Nozomi Nagasaki and Manami Daikuya followed with back-to-back RBI-doubles. With one out, Haruka Agatsuma added a runscoring single and two more runs were scored on an inside-the-park-homerun from Kyoko Ishikawa to lift the lead to 8-0. Japan scored another run in the second and third inning.

New Zealand recorded only five hits, including two by Kingsley Avery, who this season will return as player of Sparks Haarlem in the Dutch Golden League.

In the evening, Japan again took an early lead in the first inning against Australia, but this time scored only one run. Nodoka Harada led off with a triple off of Tami Stepto, who went the distance for Australia and threw a fine game. Harada scored on a grounder by Yu Yamamoto.

...Vanessa Stokes pitching for...
...Australia during the 2014 World...
...Championship in Haarlem (Neth.)...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Japan added two more runs in the seventh inning. This time, Harada led off with a double and scored on an one-out homerun from Natsuko Sugama.

Japan-pitcher Yukari Hamamura gave up only two basehits and struckout six hitters.

In the afternoon, Australia had won 3-1 against the All Stars. Both teams scored in the first inning. The All Stars opened the score on a single by Erin Thras, then Australia came alongside when veteran Stacey Porter homered with two outs.

Australia took a 2-1 lead in the third inning. With one out, Michelle Cox reached on an error and later scored on another error. Australia added another run in the sixth at bat. Leigh Godfrey then doubled and scored on a single by Stacey McManus.

Chinese Taipei also won its first game today, beating New Zealand 7-4. Taipei took a 3-0 lead in the second inning on singles by Hsuan Liu (2-run) and Meng-Ting Lai. New Zealand narrowed the deficit to 3-2 in the top of the fifth inning when Mikayla Lewin reached on an error and Erin Blackmore singled. But Taipei scored another run in its fifth on a double by Yi-Hsuan Su.

An error made it a 4-3 score in the top of the sixth, but in its own sixth at bat, Taipei added three more runs. New Zealand managed to add only one more run in the seventh. Taipei collected 13 basehits, including three by Meng-Ting Lai.

The second day began with an 1-0 win for China against the All Stars in game that was a pitching-duel between Xinxing Zhao and Vanessa Stokes in the first five innings. China scored the lone run in the sixth inning. Stokes then hit lead-off hitter Huan Li and she advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Ying Lu. Hereafter, she scored on a single by Xiaoqing Wang.

(February 2)

Related Article:
Australia & Japan win 2x on Day 1 Asia Pacific Cup. (February 1)

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