2018 Women's Baseball World Cup Scoreboard
Gold Medal Game: Japan 6, Taiwan 0
Bronze Medal Game: Canada 8, U.S.A 5 (10)
Japan continues to stand alone atop women's baseball, as it easily cruised to its sixth consecutive World Cup title. Pitching on only two-days rest, Ayami Sato, the team's ace for much of this decade, once again helped lead the team to the title, as she threw five scoreless innings against Taiwan before handing the game over to Akino Tanaka. Tanaka threw two perfect innings for the save. Iori Mura and Yuki Kawabata each drove in two runs for Japan.
Japan has won 45 of 47 games over the past six World Cups. It outscored its opponents 64-4 on its way to its 9-0 record in the 2018 tournament. Japan has now won 30 consecutive World Cup games and has not allowed more than two runs in any game of its past three World Cups.
MVP: Ayami Sato, Japan (3-0, 0.37, 19 IP, 14 H, 18 SO).
All-Tournament Team: C Shih-Yun Lee (Taiwan). 1B: Katherine Psota (Canada). 2B: Torres Antiveros (Venezuela). SS: Paradizo Ramos (Puerto Rico). 3B: Chia-Hui Yang (Taiwan). LF: Kelsey Lalor (Canada). CF: Iori Mura (Japan). RF: Chia-Wen Shen (Taiwan). SP: Chiao-Yun Huang (Taiwan). RP: Megan Meidlinger (United States). DH: Megan Baltzell (United States).
SUPER ROUND STANDINGS
*Gold medal game participants
^Bronze medal game participants
In the end Taiwan made everything simple. After falling behind by four runs early to Canada, Taiwan rallied to win and ensure its first-ever Women's World Cup medal. Taiwan finished fourth in the 2016 Women's World Cup but has never played in the gold medal game. Japan is now 8-0 for the tournament and will be playing in its eighth championship game (our of eight Women's World Cups). Japan is looking to win its sixth consecutive title.
FIRST ROUND STANDINGS
|Pool A||Group B|
* Advances to Super Round
Wednesday, Aug. 22
Star of the Day: Japan's Rina Tamiyama struck out nine and walked one in six scoreless innings. She allowed three hits.
Fastest pitcher: Team USA's Stacy Piagno was clocked at 74.2 mph. Japan's Miyu Shimizu (72.5) and the Dominican Republic's Esmeralda Alcatara (71.7) were close behind.
Best Exit Velocity: Team USA's Megan Baltzell led the way with a 94.3 mph exit velo on a hit.
Japan 8, Dominican Republic 0 (Full Video)
Taiwan 9, Venezuela 1 (Full Video)
Canada 4, Hong Kong 0 (Full Video)
South Korea 9, The Netherlands 8 (Full Video)
United States 14, Puerto Rico 0 (Full Video)
Australia 12, Cuba 4 (Full Video)
Thursday, Aug. 23
Star of the Day: Nicole Luchanski went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and Katherine Psota went 3-for-3 with four runs scored as Canada fell behind by five runs in the first inning but rallied to win 10-7 in a weather-shortened game.
Fastest pitcher: Australia's Brittany Hepburn (76.4 mph)
Fastest Exit Velocity: Puerto Rico's Janiliz Rivera (92.5 mph)
What It Means: Japan and the U.S. continue to dominate their first-round opponents with easy wins. The U.S. is in a particularly strong position as no other team in Pool A remains undefeated after just two days of the tournament. Canada, one of the favorites to advance to the second round, fell behind early but rallied to its second win. The Dominican Republic in its first World Cup appearance picked up its first win with a strong 9-6 win over Australia's solid program.
Japan 23, Hong Kong 0 (5) (Full Video)
Venezuela 10, Korea 4 (Full Video)
Dominican Republic 9, Australia 6 (Full Video)
Canada 10, Cuba 7 (Full Video)
United States 18, The Netherlands 0 (Full Video)
Puerto Rico 9, Taiwan 6 (Full Video)
What Happened: Even with a weather delay that forces the postponement of the afternoon games until Monday, Friday helped bring some clarity to both Pool A and Pool B. The United States, which failed to make the Super Round in 2016 because it lost a tiebreaker, looks to be the class of Pool A. The U.S. improved to 3-0 with a 10-run win over Korea. So far the U.S. has outscored its opponents 43-1. Pool B also took shape as the group's two favorites Japan and Canada faced off in what was arguably the best game of the tournament so far. Japan held on for a 2-1 win, but Canada left the bases loaded in the second and sixth.
Star of the Day: U.S. catcher Anna Kimbrell went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and 4 RBIs.
Cuba 12, Dominican Republic 0 (Full Video)
Australia 24, Hong Kong 2 (Full Video)
Netherlands vs. Taiwan, PPD
Venezuela vs. Puerto Rico, PPD
United States 11, Korea 1 (Full Video)
Japan 2, Canada 1 (Full Video)
Saturday, Aug. 25
What Happened: Japan and the United States have clinched spots in the Super Round as both teams remained undefeated. The Dominican Republic kept alive its chances of advancing to the Super Round in its first-ever appearance at the World Cup with an easy win over Hong Kong.
Top performers: Puerto Rico's Lisandra Berrios-Lopez went 3-for-4 with three runs scored, five RBIs and a double. Team USA DH Megan Baltzell hit the tournament's first home run.
Taiwan 13. Korea 0 (Full Video)
Puerto Rico 16, Netherlands 1 (Full Video)
United States 3, Venezuela 1 (Full Video)
Dominican Republic 19, Hong Kong 1 (Full Video)
Japan 4, Cuba 1 (Full Video)
Canada 9, Australia 6 (Full Video)
Sunday Aug. 26
What Happened: Taiwan surprised the U.S. to leap into first place in Pool A. Because head-to-head records carry over into the Super Round, this win carries more significance than just potentially winning the pool in the first round.
Top Performer: Chiao-Yun Huang held Team USA to five hits and two runs in a complete-game win as she struck out six.
Venezuela 17, Netherlands 1 (Full Video)
Puerto Rico 10, Korea 4 (Full Video)
Hong Kong 8, Cuba 5 (Full Video)
Canada 18, Dominican Republic 1 (Full Video)
Taiwan 4, United States 3 (Full Video)
Japan 5, Australia 1 (Full Video)
Monday, Aug. 27
What Happened: Venezuela rallied from a three-run deficit to beat Puerto Rico to earn the sixth and final spot in the Super Round. Both Venezuela and Puerto Rico finished with identical 3-2 records, but Venezuela advanced because of the head-to-head tiebreaker. Taiwan clinched the first spot in Pool A with an easy win over the winless Netherlands.
Top Performer: Taiwan 3B Ya-Ling Tsai went 2-for-2 with 2 walks, a run scored, 2 RBIs and a double.
Taiwan 11, Netherlands 1 (Full Video)
Venezuela 9, Puerto Rico 6 (Full Video)
Podcast: World Baseball Classic USA-Japan Championship Game Preview
J.J. Cooper, Kyle Glaser and Geoff Pontes break down the wild WBC semifinal between Japan and Mexico and preview the championship game.
Tuesday, Aug. 28
What Happened: Taiwan and Canada came into Tuesday's games as the favorites and they lived up to expectations. Both teams have their toughest Super Round games still ahead as Taiwan faces Japan and Canada and Canada faces Taiwan and the United States, but both teams did what they needed to do. If Taiwan can beat Canada head-to-head, it could earn a spot in the championship game even if it loses to Japan, as it would have head-to-head tiebreaker advantages over both the U.S. and Canada.
Top Performer: If the U.S. had a realistic hope to advance to the championship game, it needed to beat Japan. It never had a chance as Ayami Sato was at the top of her game. Sato came one out short of a no-hitter, but she finished with a one-hit complete-game shutout in Japan's 3-0 win. Sato didn't allow a ball out of the infield until the fifth inning and only a Megan Bartzell single kept her from the no-hitter. WIth the win, Japan has now won 27 consecutive games at the World Cup and is in great shape to earn a spot in the championship game.
Taiwan 2, Dominican Republic 1 (Full Video)
Canada 5, Venezuela 0 (Full Video)
Japan 3, U.S.A. 0 (Full Video)
Korea 7 Cuba 4
Australia 18, Netherlands 0
Puerto Rico 12, Hong Kong 6
Wednesday, Aug. 29
What Happened: Japan's domination of international baseball continued with a 2-1 win over Taiwan. Japan has now won 29 consecutive Women's World Cup games and has outscored its opponents 243-19 over that stretch. Japan has shutout 18 of its 29 opponents over the winning streak and has allowed more than two runs only once. Japan clinched a spot in the gold medal game when the U.S. beat Canada in the nightcap of the day's action. The win by the U.S. also keeps alive Team USA's chances of playing in the gold medal game.
Top Performers: Team USA's Megan Baltzell hit her second home run of the tournament as part of a 3-for-4 day. This home run cleared the center field fence. It came not long after Jade Gortarez had homered.
Venezuela 12, Dominican Republic 2 (Full Video)
Japan 2, Taiwan 1 (Full Video)
U.S.A. 5, Canada 1 (Full Video)
Cuba 10, Netherlands 1
Korea 15, Hong Kong 5
Australia 10, Puerto Rico 3
Thursday, Aug. 30
What Happened: Japan entered the day already knowing that it would finish the Super Round on top, but it rolled to yet another impressive win anyway with a shutout of Venezuela. Canada jumped out to an early 4-0 lead on Taiwan, but Taiwan responded with three runs of its own in the first and took the lead with a three-run third. Chiao-Yun Huang settled down after the rough first inning to pick up the complete-game win. Taiwan's win meant that the U.S. was ticketed to a bronze medal game appearance no matter what they did. Team USA emptied the bench getting 14 position players and three pitchers time in an easy win over the Dominican Republic.
Top Performers: Taiwan CF Hsiao-Mei Chen went 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI. She also showed excellent range in center field. Japan C Ririka Tabata was 2-for-4 with a double and 4 RBIs.
Japan 10, Venezuela 0 (Full video)
Taiwan 6, Canada 4 (Full video)
U.S. 8, Dominican Republic 1 (Full video)
Hong Kong 4, Netherlands 1
Cuba 6, Puerto Rico 5
Australia 7, Korea 1
Friday, Aug. 31
Bronze Medal Game: Canada 8, U.S. 5 (10) (Full Video)
Gold Medal Game: Japan 6, Taiwan 0 (Full Video)