Japan beats Aussie Spirit in first two games of series

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Women playing softball
Jodie Stevenson of the Aussie Spirit during game one.
Image: LauraHale.

Hawker, Canberra — Wednesday night, the Japan women's national softball team picked up victories in the first two games of their international test series against Australia by scores of 3-2 and 5-3.

Women playing softball
Aussie Spirit player during game one. Also pictured number 11 Rie Nishiyama of Japan.
Image: LauraHale.

The first game, at 17:30 AEST (6:30 UTC), began with Vanessa Stokes pitching for Australia. Japan's third batter in the first inning, Rie Nishiyama, was walked. Yuikiyo Mine was next to bat, and a wild pitch allowed Nishiyama second base. Mine went on to hit a double on a long hit to the outfield, which enabled Nishiyama to score the only point of the first, as Japan went in 1-0 up.

In Australia's half of the first, batters faced Yamato Fujita. Stacey Porter led off with a hit. Verity Long-Droppert bunted out but advanced Porter to second. Brenda De Blaes came up to bat and Porter stole third base. De Blaes was then walked. Chelsea Forkin made a base hit, scoring Porter. Stevenson got a hit to load the bases. The first ended when Jodie Bowering hit a pop out that was converted into a double play.

Japan went scoreless in the top of the second. In Australia's half, Clare Warwick led off, hit the ball into her own leg and worked off the pain. The Japanese pitcher subsequently walked her. Stacey McManus flied out. Bowering bunted out but advanced Warwick. Porter was walked. Long-Droppert came to bat with runners on first and second, got hit by ball and took her base. During De Blaes's at bat, there was a wild pitch that allowed a run to score. De Blaes hit a bouncer to the outfield, and was thrown out on a fielder's choice to end the inning 2-1 for Australia.

Woman in profile
Leigh Godfrey of the Aussie Spirit during game one.
Image: LauraHale.

The Japanese answered back during the top of the third. Stokes was still pitching for Australia when a run scored. The game remained scoreless until the top of the seventh. Designated player Yukina Seki led off the inning by being struck out. Yamada hit a triple. Right fielder Kawano was thrown out at first but scored Yamada to bring the game to 3-2. Mani Souma made a base hit to get second. The inning ended when Kazuki Watanabe struck out. Australia was not able to answer back in the bottom half of the seventh and lost the game.

The second game originally had a scheduled start time of 19:30 AEST (8:30 UTC) but did not get underway until 20:05 AEST (9:05 UTC). The game was scoreless going into the top of the fourth, with two outs, when Shizuyo Hamamoto hit a home run for Japan. Haruka Fujino then was out to end the inning. The Japanese would score again in the top of the fifth. Australia answered back in their half of the inning. Melinda Weaver led off with a double. Warwick made a hit, advanced the runner to third but was ultimately out in a run out. Stacey Porter was walked. Michelle Cox hit out but not before advancing the runner to second. De Blaes hit a double to score two runs and tie the game up. Leigh Godfrey went out and the inning ended.

The game remained tied at the end of regulation play. International rules for ties were used. These involved a runner starting on second. Each side would score in their half of the inning, to bring the game to 3-3 after eight. At the top of the ninth, Japanese player Hamamoto started on second. Nishiyama grounded out but advanced Hamamoto to third. Haruna Sakamoto was walked. Hamamoto went home on a wild pitch during Misa Okubo's at bat that also saw Nishiyama advance to third. This brought the game to 4-3. Okubo singled to score Nishiyama bringing the score to 5-3. The next two batters went out to end the inning. Australia was unable to answer back in the bottom of the ninth.


Related news

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


Bookmark-new.svg