Chinese Taipei used Singapore as a warm-up match this afternoon in their Group B match when they trounced the Republic 15-2 in four innings, as their preparation for their crucial do-or-die match against favourites Japan tomorrow in the U18 Women Softball Asia Cup 2023 tournament at the Pingtan Softball Stadium.
Singapore was no match for Chinese Taipei, as the latter raced to 3 runs in the first inning and 12 in the second from 5 hits. Singapore stayed in the game when they managed 2 runs in the third inning to prevent a run ahead rule defeat.
The two runs was achieved after Singapore’s Japanese coach Aiko Nakamura appealed to Chinese umpire Wang Fengjiao, who had earlier called for the two consecutive runs.
However, after consulting with the other umpires, Wang had her decision reversed to the joy of the Singaporeans.
However, their joy was short lived, as as the game went into the fourth innings and with no runs on the top of fourth inning, the run ahead rule again applied for seven runs ahead for Chinese Taipei to win 15-2.
“We used this match against Singapore as a warm-up for our tough match against Japan tomorrow afternoon and tried out all our players,” said Chinese Taipei head coach Kao Chun-Sheng.
“I am happy with the performance today, but what really matters will be their performance against Japan.
“Without doubt Japan is the favourite team for this tournament. Although we should finish among the top three to qualify for the World Cup, our concern is to beat Japan.”
Asked on his chances to beat Japan, Kao simply said; “50-50.”
Indeed, Chinese Taipei will be going all out to turn the tables on Japan, but it is not going to be an easy task, as Japan themselves have declared to emerge champions in this inaugural tournament.
The match is scheduled for 3.30pm tomorrow.
In the final match of the evening, hosts China lined themselves for tougher encounters with an easy 10-0 win over Korea in their Group A match.
China head coach, Huang Weigang, said that he was very satisfied with his team’s performance against Korea, and it was a good start, but it was Japan and Chinese Taipei in Group B, he was more concerned over.
China have Philippines and Hong Kong as their remaining opponents in their Group, which they should easily dispense off to top their Group.
“Japan and Chinese Taipei will be the team to watch out, whom we will meet in the Super round. But we intend to make the final, book our World Cup berth and meet Japan in the final,” said Huang.
“It is then that our real test will come.”
China play Philippines tomorrow evening.
Philippines 7 Hong Kong 0
India v Japan (match forfeited to Japan. India failed to show-up)
Singapore Chinese Taipei
China 10 Korea 0
8.30am India v Singapore
10.30am Hong Kong v Korea
3.30pm Japan v Chinese Taipei
5.30pm China v Philippines
U18 Women Softball Asia Cup 2023 (Pingtan Softball Stadium, Pingtan, China) – DAY 1 – Evening session