Pictures by Eagle Photography
The battle for top honours to wrest the Asia Cup heated up with tournament favourites Japan and host Chinese Taipei remaining unbeaten at the end of three matches and day two yesterday of the U15 Women’s Softball Asia Cup at the Fu-Hsing Softball Stadium in Puli Township, Nantou, Chinese Taipei.
Two nations- Philippines and Korea – who were looking forward to place in the final, lost their matches to Japan and Chinese Taipei respectively.
While Philippines went down to clinical Japan team 0-14 for their first defeat in
three games in the second last game of the day, Korea’s loss of 0-9 to Chinese Taipei in the final match of the day played under floodlights, saw them lose their second match in three matches.
Japan proved too strong for Philippines and no matter how hard the former tried, the Japanese were on top of them scoring three runs in the first inning, five in the second and one in third inning, while Philippines had no runs to show.
However, Philippines had a short-lived celebration when they prevented Japan from increasing their 9 runs to end the game with the run ahead rule after four innings, when they stopped them from increasing their lead in the top fourth inning.
But Japan too prevented Philippines from getting any runs, thus moving to the final inning with a 9 run lead.
Japan went on to step on their paddle again to increase their lead further with 5 runs for total of 14 runs, thus making it near impossible for Philippines to stage a comeback in their bottom fifth and final inning.
Final score Japan 14 Philippines 0.
Philippines certainly have an advantage over Korea to finish third for a third placing playoff, having defeated them in a closely battled match 2-1 on Tuesday.
Earlier in the afternoon, as expected, it was a close battle between win less Singapore and Hong Kong, but the latter prevailed to win closely 2-0 from their two runs in the fourth inning.
Credit to Singapore, who fought till the end to stop Hong Kong from going ahead further in the final top fifth inning and started to bunt to get runs and had to two players on third base on two occasions, but the former saved their fight for too late.
Hong Kong held on tight for their victory.
It was Hong Kong’s second victory after three matches having defeated India narrowly 2-1 on the opening day and lost 2-17 to Korea earlier in the morning today.
Hong Kong have tough matches against host Chinese Taipei and pre-tournament favourites Japan tomorrow, before they round up their fixtures on Friday against Philippines.
With three tough teams lined up against them, it is unlikely Hong Kong will produce any upset.
Singapore on the other hand, who are win less after three matches, will be up against another tough nut to crack in Korea, in the opening match tomorrow morning, before they play Philippines and India on Friday.
All indications are that Singapore and India in their final match on Friday, will be fighting to avoid a wooden spoonist finish.
All indications are that Japan and host Chinese Taipei will be in the final, while Philippines and Korea could battle for a third finish to qualify for the World Cup.
Japan, no matter how they finish, they have automatically qualified for the World Cup as host in October, leaving the two spots allocated to Asia by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) to be battled out.
TODAY’S RESULTS- DAY 2 (JUNE 14 – WEDNESDAY)
8.00am Chinese 15 Taipei 0 Singapore (postponed match from yesterday due to unplayable conditions after heavy rain).
9.00am Japan 10 India 0
10.30am Korea 17 Hongkong 2
12.00pm India 0 Chinese Taipei 16
1.30pm Singapore 0 Hong Kong 2
3.00pm Philippines 0 Japan 14
4.30pm Chinese Taipei 9 Korea 0
DAY 1 (Tuesday) RESULTS:
9.00am Philippines 6 India 0
10.30am Japan 14 Singapore 0 (Run ahead win after 4 innings. The U15 plays a total of 5 innings)
12.00 pm Hong Kong 2 India 1
1.30pm Philippines 2 Korea 1
4.00pm Chinese Taipei v Singapore (match postponed owing to unplayable conditions after heavy rain).
TOMORROW’S FIXTURES (JUNE 15- THURSDAY)
9.00am Korea v Singapore
10.30am Hongkong v Chinese Taipei
12.00pm India v Korea
1.30pm Japan v Hong Kong
3.00pm Philippines v Chinese Taipei