Japan had expected a close match against Chinese Taipei in the  inaugural U18 Women Softball Asia Cup 2023 tournament final this afternoon in Pingtan, China, but in the end, were thanking their lucky stars they won by a solitary run.

China who finished third

It was final where pitchers of both teams – Japan’s Shino Oguri and Chinese Taipei’s Emroy Cheng – held court, but it was Japan’s second batter Soa Shimanaka’s hit in the first inning, which saw her reach second base and ran home off an error by Chinese Taipei, which turned out to be the winner.

China Team

Japans’s coach Yuhei Yamauchi, was relieved man when Chinese Taipei was prevented from equaling the score at the final top inning, for them to push for a win.


“I had expected a close encounter from Chinese Taipei being a final and having played earlier (won 8-0) in the Group encounter, but never expected it to go down to the wire like this,” said a relived Yamauchi.

Victorious Team Japan

“I must admit that although we were a better all round team, today we had luck on our side.


“Their pitcher (Cheng) who started, made a lot difference, which made our offensive play difficult. My players themselves were not at their best in offensive play.

China who finished third

“But I must commend my players for holding on to the slim early lead. It was indeed a difficult game and I must commend Chinese Taipei for their performance today.”

Chinese Taipei’s 16-year-old pitcher Emory Cheng who made a difference in the final

Chinese Taipei’s coach, Kao Chun-Sheng, who had on the  eve of the final said his team only had 20 percent chance to win in the final, said after the final: “We were so close to win,yet so far.


“We certainly had an equal chance to win the game today. I am very satisfied with the performance of my team, but it would have been better if we had won.”


Kao agreed that the two pitchers made a key difference in the close match.

Chinese Taipei team as ruuners up qualify for the World Cup

“I took a gamble to field youngster, Emroy, as first choice pitcher and it paid off.


“She is a talented pitcher, but lacks experience and that is why had I had not used her as my starting pitcher. But today I decided to take the gamble and also surprise Japan,and she was outstanding and made a difference to our performance,” said Kao.

Emroy is only 16 years old.

Champions Japan and runners up Chinense Taipei qualify for World Cup

Indeed, it was a close and nail biting final and the game of softball was the winner as it had the spectators at the edge of their seats.


Japan, Chinese Taipei host China who had finished third in the eight nation tournament when they had defeated Philippines 6-1 in the third placing match in the morning, have also qualified for the World Cup, whose host has yet to be decided.

Japan’s match winner Soa Shimanaka reaches second base in the first inning and runs home next on Chinese Taipei’s error



China 6  Philippines 1 (Bronze Medal)

Chinese Taipei 0 Japan 1 (Gold Medal)



  1. JAPAN (U18 Women Asia Cup 2023 Champion)
  2. CHINESE TAIPEI (Runner-up – silver medal)
  3. CHINA (Third placed – bronze medal)
  5. KOREA
  7. INDIA

(Top three ranked teams qualify for World Cup)



HONG KONG 1 (fourth placed team in Group A) v INDIA 2 (fourth placed Group B) – Placement #3


SOUTH KOREA 15 (Group A third placed) v SINGAPORE 1 (third placed team  in Group B) – Placement # 4


PHILIPPINES  0 (Runner-up Group A) v CHINESE TAIPEI 5 (Group B runners-up) – Super Round #3


CHINA 1 (Group A champion) – Super Round #1 V JAPAN 8 (Group B champion) –  Super Round#4




 HONG KONG 2 (fourth placed team in Group A) v SINGAPORE 17 (third placed team  in Group B) – Placement # 2


SOUTH KOREA 8 (Group A third placed) v INDIA 2 (fourth placed Group B) – Placement #1


PHILIPPINES 0 (Runner-up Group A) v JAPAN 12 (Group B champion) –  Super Round#2


CHINA 6 (Group A champion) v CHINESE TAIPEI 8 (Group B runners-up) – Super Round #1



India 0 Chinese Taipei 7 (match forfeited although India arrived and as they had missed two earlier Group matches.  India fielded a team and played Chinese Taipei in a friendly and lost 0-9 loss)

Japan 24  Singapore 0

Korea 1  Philippines 11

China 17  Hong Kong 0



India 0 v Singapore 7 (match forfeited as India has not arrived)

Hong Kong 3  Korea 12

Japan 8  Chinese Taipei 0

China 11  Philippines 0


Philippines 7 Hong Kong 0

India 0 v Japan 7 (match forfeited as India failed to show-up)

Singapore 2 Chinese Taipei 15

China 10 Korea 0




  1. China
  2. Philippines
  3. South Korea
  4. Hong Kong



  1. Japan
  2. Chinese Taipei
  3. Singapore
  4. India