World No. 4 Puerto Rico claimed the first ticket to the WBSC Softball World Cup Finals 2024 from Group B after beating China 2-1 in the final on Saturday at the Camp Municipal de Beisbol i Sofbol de València, Spain.
In a wonderful showpiece of international women’s softball, Puerto Rico reversed their opening day defeat to China, to beat the world No. 11 in a come-from-behind win.
European champions the Netherlands won the second ticket with an impressive 2-0 win over China in the repechage game while hosts Spain beat South Africa in the opening game of the day to finish in fifth place in the group.
Meanwhile, Group C started in Buttrio and Castions di Strada, Italy with Olympic champions Japan beating New Zealand 16-2, Tokyo 2020 bronze medallists Canada overcoming the Philippines 5-0 before Italy beat Venezuela 4-2.
Group B Final Day Schedule
5th v 6th Placement Game: South Africa v Spain 0-5 Box Score/Play by Play Highlights
3rd v 4th Netherlands v Cuba 2-1 Box Score/Play by Play Highlights
Final* Puerto Rico v China 2-1 Box Score/Play by Play Highlights
Repechage* China v Netherlands 0-2 (Loser of Final v Winner of 3rd v 4th) Box Score/Play by Play Highlights
*Ticket to the WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup Finals 2024 awarded to the winner
Images of the Day
- First game of the day in Valencia saw Spain beat South Africa to finish 5th and 6th respectively in Group B
- Netherlands beat Cuba in the 3rd v 4th game
- Puerto Rico claimed the first Group B ticket to the WBSC Softball World Cup Finals 2024 by beating China in the final
- Netherlands claimed the second ticket by beating China in the repechage
- Day Four Review – China, Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Netherlands confirmed in top four playoff positions
- Day Three Review – China, Cuba, Netherlands book Playoff spots, two teams in contention for remaining place
- Day Two Review – Cuba and China stay undefeated; top standings
- Day One Review – Wins for Cuba, China and Spain on opening day
- Group C started on Saturday – Japan, Canada and Italy expected to lead the way
- Group B in Valencia, Spain sees the hosts, ranked 12th in the world, welcome No. 4 Puerto Rico, No. 10 Netherlands, No. 11 China, No. 28 Cuba and No. 38 South Africa from 18-22 July. See Preview
- Valencia ready to welcome the world
- 12 players to watch
- By the Numbers
- Watch Live on GameTime.Sport
Repechage: Netherlands v China
The second ticket to the WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup Finals 2024 is on the line with China, the loser of the final against Puerto Rico, taking on the Netherlands, who beat Cuba in the 3rd v 4th playoff.
China won this encounter 5-4 on the second day of the tournament and like three days ago, the Netherlands scored first with Jessie van Aalst hitting down the left field line to score Brenda Beers and Britt Vonk.
Van Aalst took to the pitching circle like she did in pool play against China and kept the bats of the world No. 11 quiet, having only given up three hits with 56 strike from 92 pitches, before being replaced by Lisa Hop in the fifth innings. Hop did the trick, pitching out the game with 17 strikes in 27 pitches to spark great celebrations from the Dutch and their passionate fans.
Final: Puerto Rico v China
The first ticket to the WBSC Softball World Cup Finals 2024 will be awarded to the winner of this game. The loser has a second chance playing the Netherlands, who beat Cuba in the 3rd v 4th game.
China won this contest 2-0 on the opening day and one thinks it will another super game in this final.
China scored first in the bottom of the first with Jiaqi Li getting home after Odalys Cordova tried to pick off Jiaxin Xie and the error on first base allowed Li to get home.
Puerto Rico pulled one back at their next turn at bat with Aleimalee Lopez scoring on an error from Xie at second base.
Top of the fifth and Puerto Rico’s two-way super star Aleshia Ocasio scores after hitting a double to right centre field followed by Carla Claudio’s single up the middle which scored Ocasio to give Puerto Rico the lead.
That would the finish of the scoring with Ocasio the star of the show, pitching a complete having also pitched a complete to win the final of the Central American and Caribbean Games against Cuba earlier this month.
Group B 3rd v 4th: Netherlands v Cuba
Second game of the final day of Group sees European champions and world No. 10 the Netherlands play Cuba, ranked 28th in the world with Cuba, who hadn’t beaten the Netherlands in a WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup prior to winning this encounter 4-3 in the first game of the tournament in Valencia.
Two time Most Outstanding Player Yillan Tornes lines up again for starting pitcher for Cuba having pitched complete games against China, Puerto Rico and the Netherlands. While for the Netherlands Eva Voortman starts having only previously pitched three innings against China.
With the loser of this game eliminated from contention of claiming a ticket to the WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup Finals 2024 while the winner plays off for a ticket against the loser of the final, the game started very intensely with only one hit across two innings.
The Netherlands broke the deadlock in the top of the third with Brenda Beers pooping a fly ball to left field and with Leannelys Zayas running forward to try and make the catch, the ball dropped under her glove, allowing Beijing 2008 Olympian Britt Vonk to score. A sacrifice fly from Dinet Oosting to right field scored Beers and the Netherlands are 2-0 up in the top of the third.
Amazing tension as Voortman continues to be on fire with her red hair and her pitching while Cuban fans are wondering from where will their first run come from. It’s Yilian Rondon who manages a ground ball past first base to get Yanisleidys Casanova home from first. It’s a 2-1 ball game in the bottom of the sixth and the atmosphere goes up another notch.
Group B 6th v 5th Placement Game: South Africa v Spain
Hosts Spain take on South Africa in the 5th v 6th Placement game with Spain having won this clash 14-0 on the first day of the tournament on Tuesday.
And it is Spain who open the scoring with lead off hitter Maria Caicoya, having scored twice against South Africa on the first day of the tournament, scoring her fourth run of the tournament after Yaicey Sojo’s single to left field.
Bottom of the second and Anna Sobrino and Carla Segura score before Carmen Caicoya’s single to left field scores her sister Maria and Yulan Denia to put Spain 5-0.
A pitching change for South Africa during the second inning with Nushka De Beer, who had given up five hits and four runs, making way for Johandri van der Walt who proceed to tighten the ship allowing only two hits and one run from her 4.1 innings of work.
The final result 5-0 to Spain, completes an excellent tournament for both teams with South Africa improving with every game while Spain will be proud of their success on the field, playing in only their second WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup after finishing 20th in 1994, as well as off the field with a great atmosphere and fan support the whole week at the Camp Municipal de Beisbol i Sofbol de València.