Defending champions, Chinese Taipei look set to meet Czech Republic in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Under-12 Mixed Softball World Cup final on Sunday as both teams cruised to end the round-robin round yesterday in style at the Jin-Long Field in Taichung City on the day of the third of the competition today.
In the morning, Czech who had lost their only one match to host Chinese Taipei on Thursday (2-7), bounced back strongly to run riot over India with their run ahead 17-0 win in three innings.
Czech powered by their solid hitting game made 16-out-of-23 hits with Katerina Slanska’s perfect hitting performance for the convincing win to complete their first round fixtures.
The Indian team with only 13 players registered instead of the 15, coupled with injuries, their small sized physique and lack of experience, were no match to the bigger and clinical Czechs.
However, the Indian team had a morale booster dose before the start of their game against Czech Republic, when softball helmets were handed over to them when the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), with the support of the Chinese Taipei Softball Association, donated softball helmets to them.
The helmets, specially-made for use by the Indian youth softball programme, were presented to the Indian squad by WBSC Secretary General Datuk Low Beng Choo Low.
“The WBSC is grateful for this generous support by the Chinese Taipei Softball Association to provide equipment to their Asian neighbours that truly encapsulates and fosters real softball camaraderie,” said Datuk Low who presented the helmets.
India started its U-10 and U-12 softball youth programmes five years ago. The interest in softball has grown since and the increased participation, that gathered 800 kids in their national championships, is a testament to a great future of Indian softball.
Hosts Chinese Taipei, on the other hand continued their domination, when they gave India their second nightmare of the day, when they white-washed them 20-0 to see India end their round robin round win less.
Chinese blasted six home runs in their biggest margin victory in the tournament till date.
Yu-Yang Wu and Sheng-Zhi Wu doubled up their home run output, while En-Shih Hsu and Yue-Cen Wu each contributed an inside-the-park homer to lead the offence of the home team, which had a productive effort to record 23 hits and 14 RBIs to confirm their semifinals berth.
With the win, Chinese Taipei remained unbeaten to top the round-robin round, to play in the semifinals with the winner of the fourth and fifth qualified teams who play a quarter final elimination game.
The quarter final elimination round will be between Singapore and India.
The other semifinals will be between the second and third qualified teams namely Czech Republic and Hong Kong.
Czech had defeated Hong Kong 10-0 over four innings on the opening day round robin fixture.
Hong Kong survived a late scare this afternoon from Singapore with a three-run surge in the fifth inning to narrowly win 7-6.
India 0 Czech Rep 17
Singapore 6 Hong Kong 7
Chinese Taipei India
Tomorrow’s match ups:
Quarter final elimination round:
Singapore v India (11am).
Czech Republic v Hong Kong (11am)
Chinese Taipei v winner between Singapore and India