Japan are the only undefeated team after two days of intense competition in the Asia Pacific Cup.
After beating the Aussie Spirit in the night game, Japan has moved clear at the top of the standings, having scored 26 runs and conceded only one.
Australia, China and Chinese Taipei are next in the standings, each with 3-1 win-loss records.
Chinese Taipei were the big movers on Day Two, winning games against New Zealand and Italy.
DAY TWO GAME REPORTS
This was a classic pitchers’ duel through five innings, with neither All Stars starter Vanessa Stokes nor China’s Xinxing Zhao conceding a run.
But in the sixth inning, the Chinese team manufactured a run after leadoff hitter Huan Li was hit by a pitch and was sacrificed to second. Xiaoqing Wang then singled to centre field, scoring Huan Li for what would be the only run of the game.
The All Stars tried to stage a late comeback, and were given hope when Rachel Lack and Carmelle Sorensen both singled in the sixth inning and advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch. But reliever Lan Wang pitched out of the jam, ending the threat.
China completed the second leg of a winning double-header by overcoming a determined Italy.
Errors proved costly for the Italians, who made four of them as China won 5-0.
Chinese starting pitcher Lan Wang allowed just four hits and one walk, with four strikeouts, in seven innings.
Lan Wang had three of China’s seven hits.
After falling behind early, New Zealand staged a strong comeback in the late innings but fell short.
Chinese Taipei scored three runs in the second inning, two of them driven in by Hsuan Liu, to take the lead.
The Kiwis hit back with two runs in the fifth inning, helped by some sloppy defence and an RBI single by Erin Blackmore.
They kept up the pressure by adding runs in the final two innings, but Chinese Taipei scored three late runs to hold off the challenge.
It’s not often that the Aussie Spirit get to play against another team of Australians, so this game was always going to be special.
The underdog All Stars were first to score, courtesy of an Erin Thras RBI single that scored Rachel Lack in the first inning.
But the lead didn’t last long. In the bottom of the inning, Stacey Porter belted a solo home run to right field to tie the scores.
Two fielding errors by the All Stars in the third inning led to Michelle Cox first getting on base, then later scoring to give the Spirit a 2-1 lead.
They added another run in the sixth, when Leigh Godfrey doubled and scored on Stacey McManus’s single.
Both starting pitchers were excellent. Kaia Parnaby pitched a complete game for the Spirit, striking out eight while allowing just one run on four hits and one walk.
For the All Stars, Stephanie Trzcinski allowed only one earned run in 5.1 innings, giving up just three hits and one walk while striking out two.
The powerhouse Japanese lineup wasted no time stamping their authority on this game, scoring eight runs in the first inning.
Hitomi Kawabata, Yu Yamamoto and Natsuko Sugama each had two hits for Japan, who scored again in the second and third innings to end the contest early.
Misaki Katsumata and Miki Kozono shared the pitching duties, allowing five hits and no walks between them.
Chinese Taipei capped off a great day with a comfortable win over Italy.
Feng-Chen Lin led the offence with two hits and three RBIs. Yi-Ting Yang also had two hits, as did Pei-Chun Lin.
Pitcher Ya-Ting Tu restricted Italy to three hits, with no walks and six strikeouts.
An impressive pitching performance by Yukari Hamamura carried Japan to an important victory over the Aussie Spirit.
The talented Spirit lineup could manage only two base hits against Hamamura, who struck out six and walked only one.
Natsuko Sugama was the batting star, with three hits including a two-run homer that iced the game in the seventh inning.
For the Spirit, only Stacey Porter and Georgia Casey hit safely.
Pitcher Tarni Stepto battled hard, restricting Japan to one through the first six innings until Sugama’s blast in the seventh.
Standings after Day Two
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