Japan's Sato twirls shutout vs. US in World Cup

Six-time champs one-hit hosts in Super Round; Canada blanks Venezuela; Chinese Taipei wins in extras

August 29th, 2018

Super Round play continued on Tuesday in the Women's Baseball World Cup, and Japan continued to dominate. The six-time defending champions shut out the United States, 3-0, to remain undefeated as they continue their quest to reach Saturday's final. Australia, however, had the most lopsided win of the day with an 18-0 shutout of the Netherlands, while Puerto Rico and Chinese Taipei -- which won in extra innings -- also improved to 3-0 in the second round.

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Here's a recap of the day's action:

Japan 3, United States 0

Behind staff ace Ayami Sato, who tossed a shutout, Japan kept the Americans quiet all afternoon. Sato came just one out shy of tossing a no-hitter, allowing a single to Megan Baltzell in the bottom of the seventh in what was a brief blemish during an otherwise dominant afternoon. Sato hit two batters but didn't permit baserunner to reach beyond second.

Tomomi Nakada plated the only run Japan would need with a first-inning single, swiped second and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Iori Miura. Japan added two runs in the second on a pair of errant throws. Chihiro Funakoshi scored on a wild pitch and Ayaka Deguchi, surging home on a squeeze play, scored on a wild throw from USA pitcher Stacy Piagno.

Canada 5, Venezuela 0

Amanda Asay also hurled a one-hit shutout on Tuesday, relying on an impressive 10-hit performance from the Canadian offense.

Asay struggled with command early, hitting two batters with two outs in the first and throwing a wild pitch that put both in scoring position, but she responded with a strikeout of Migreily Angulo for her only punchout of the afternoon.

Canada broke a scoreless tie in the third when Veronika Boyd laced a full-count double to deep left field off Venezuela starter Esquia Rengel for an RBI double that scored Ashley Stephenson, who led off the inning with a single. Daphnée Gélinas added an RBI single in the fifth, and Katherine Psota dropped in a two-run double off Venezuela reliever Patricia Segovia in the sixth.

Canada, which went 4-1 in the opening round and is 2-1 in the second round, is looking to build off its runner-up finish in the 2016 WBSC World Cup.

Chinese Taipei 2, Dominican Republic 1 (8 innings)

Chinese Taipei eliminated the Dominican Republic from a potential spot in the World Championship Game by drawing a bases-loaded walk in the eighth inning to secure a 2-1 victory, continuing its thrilling tournament run and staying alive for a chance at the championship.

With extra-innings rules in effect that allowed Chinese Taipei to have runners on first and second, the Dominicans intentionally walked Shih-Mei Shu to load the bases, but Angela Burgos walked Shih-Yun Lee on five pitches which allowed Chia-Wen Shen to score the winning run.

On the mound, Yu-Ying Hsieh tossed a gem, going the extra-innings distance and allowing just the one run on four hits and two walks with one strikeout, needing 92 pitches to complete eight innings.

Cuba 7, Korea 4

Cuba overcame a three-run deficit early and capped its comeback win with four runs in the seventh to secure a 7-4 victory in the consolation round. Mayumis Solano strung together 2 1/3 hitless innings of relief to solidify the win. Designated hitter Marielbys Ferro led Cuba at the plate with a 2-for-3 game and two RBIs, and Arianna Garcia collected six steals.

Australia 18, Netherlands 0 (5 innings)

Australia used 15 hits to score 18 runs while limiting the Netherlands to just two hits during a five-inning win. Chelsea Forkin led the way offensively with a 4-for-4 game -- all of her hits going for extra bases -- to complement five RBIs and four runs scored. On the mound, Kaila Borgomastro allowed just two hits over three innings, and reliever Morgan Doty tossed two hitless innings to close out the Dutch.

Puerto Rico 12, Hong Kong 6

Puerto Rico kept a clean record intact in the consolation round with a comeback win over Hong Kong, capitalizing on five defensive errors. Noelia De Jesus tossed a complete game for Puerto Rico, and four of her six runs were unearned. She scattered six hits, walked three and struck out two. Leadoff hitter Adrix Paradizo collected a game-high three RBIs as part of a 2-for-4 performance, and also scored two runs.