Defending champions, Chinese Taipei paved their way to defend their title, as their continued their unbeaten run with two more victories in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Under-12 Mixed Softball World Cup at the Jin-Long Field in Taichung City on the second day of the competition yesterday.
The hosts who started the competition on Wednesday, with an opening victory over Singapore (18-0 over four innings), yesterday afternoon playing in back-to-back matches, went on to defeat Hong Kong (14-0 over 4 innings) and Czech Republic, who finished third in the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2019, (7-2).
Chinese Taipei play their final three-day single round robin match against India this afternoon (3pm), before all the teams advance to the playoffs.
The fourth and fifth qualified teams will play a quarter final elimination game, with the winner facing the best seeded squad in the Opening Round, in one of two semifinals. Second and third qualified teams will play the second semifinal.
Yesterday, Chinese Taipei’s match against Czech Republic, which was dubbed as the anticipated final, saw the host sent a clear message of their strength and intention to retain the title, despite playing against a more physically stronger and bigger Czech players – both boys and girls.
Chinese Taipei had won all seven of their matches in the inaugural tournament, including a 3-2 triumph against Peru in the final.
The Czechs are the only other side making their second appearance at the competition.
The WBSC U-12 Mixed Softball World Cup, is a mixed-gender tournament format that is designed to further boost gender equality across all WBSC disciplines. All squads must include 14-16 players aged 10 to 12, and each team must include at least four females and four males on the field of play at any one time, with a batting line-up alternating between five female and five male players.
Chinese Taipei wrap up their first round fixtures against India, whom they should easily dispense to continue their winning streak.
India lost their second consecutive match yesterday, when they went down 3-10 to Hong Kong, after their opening day defeat to Singapore 5-12.
India complete their round-robin fixtures with a match against Czech Republic in the morning (11am), before they play Chinese Taipei at 3pm.
Hong Kong, chalked their first victory in the tournament yesterday over India, after earlier defeats to Czech (0-10) and Chinese Taipei (0-14), and play their final round-robin match against Singapore this afternoon.
Singapore had earlier defeats to Czech (1-8) and Chinese Taipei (0-18) and a victory over India.
Both Hong Kong and Singapore, have one victory and two defeats after three matches.
The tournament which was supposed to be held from December 1 to 12 last year, but was postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, sees five countries – Czech Republic, Hong Kong, India, Singapore and host Chinese Taipei – compete till Dec 11 for the coveted title.
India 3 Hong Kong 10
Czech 8 Singapore 1
Hong Kong 0 Chinese Taipei 14
Czech 2 Chinese Taipei 7
India v Czech Rep (11am)
Singapore v Hong Kong (1pm)
Chinese Taipei v India (3pm)