Japan, Chinese Taipei, and Venezuela Secure Spots in Women's World Cup Finals Alongside USA for Next Year

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Japan, Chinese Taipei, and Venezuela Secure Spots in Women’s World Cup Finals Alongside USA for Next Year

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After the United States, Canada, and Mexico secured their spots in next year’s WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup finals a few weeks ago, Group B has now concluded its matches in Miyoshi City, Japan. As expected, the top-ranked team, Japan, which has been the reigning champion for the last six Women’s Baseball World Cups, once again claimed the top spot with a perfect 5-0 record. While Japan displayed dominance, they didn’t exhibit the overwhelming force they have in the past. Notably, for the first time since September 7, 2016, they conceded more than one run in a game and had to mount a comeback to defeat Puerto Rico.

Joining Japan in next year’s finals will be the second-ranked Chinese Taipei, boasting a 4-1 record, and fifth-ranked Venezuela, finishing at 3-2.

Let’s break down the full group:

  1. Japan: 5-0

Madonna Japan briefly faced a scare when they had to mount a comeback from a 2-0 deficit against Puerto Rico. However, their bats came alive, and Japan continued their remarkable unbeaten streak in World Cup games since 2012. Japan’s dominant performance in the group stage leaves little room for doubt. The team’s roster is so deep that even veteran star Ayami Sato found herself in a relief role, pitching four shutout innings. Kana Onodera assumed the challenging starting role, pitching two complete games (tournament games are 7 innings long) against Puerto Rico and Chinese Taipei, allowing just two runs while striking out 18.

First baseman Yuki Kawabata was a standout offensively, boasting an impressive batting line of .615/.643/.927, including two triples and seven RBIs.

“This is the fifth World Cup I’ve participated in,” Kawabata shared with the WBSC after the victory against Chinese Taipei. “The level of play is much higher than before, especially in batting. I also witnessed many outstanding defensive plays. Scoring was not easy. So I should be prepared for high-level competition next year in Canada.


  1. Chinese Taipei (4-1)

The second-ranked team globally, Chinese Taipei, secured the second spot in the group primarily due to their match against Japan. Despite a 2-0 loss to Japan, their close performance against the top-ranked team provides ample encouragement as they look ahead to the finals next year. Chinese Taipei had little trouble dispatching the other teams in the group. Shortstop Yu-Ying Hsieh was a standout offensive force, impressively hitting four triples during the tournament and showcasing exceptional defensive skills.

Three. Venezuela (3-2)

Venezuela, who finished in fifth place during the last World Cup in 2018 (with the 2020 tournament canceled due to the pandemic), has successfully qualified once again. Their journey to the finals owes much to the exceptional performance of Frandelis Garcia, recognized as the tournament’s most outstanding player. Garcia made a significant impact, pitching for 13 innings, recording 13 strikeouts, and, notably, tossing a complete-game shutout against Puerto Rico, securing Venezuela’s place in next year’s tournament.

Two-way star Chiao-Yun Huang also contributed significantly, showcasing her versatility by playing across first base, right field, and the pitcher’s mound. Huang pitched seven scoreless innings, contributed 7 hits, and recorded 3 RBIs during the tournament.

Venezuela’s opportunity to advance hinged on their hard-fought victory against Cuba, clinching an 8-7 win. The game’s decisive moment came in the bottom of the eighth inning when Srishna Arciniega executed a game-winning bunt. Mariana Natera played a crucial role in securing the win, pitching the entire game and throwing a total of 112 pitches.

  1. Puerto Rico (2-3)

A disappointing tournament for Puerto Rico, as they once again failed to advance out of the group stage in any Women’s Baseball World Cup, replicating their 3-2 performance in 2018. Luz Danella Feliciano Ramos and Lisandro Berrios-Lopez shared the tournament lead with 8 RBIs each. Janiliz Rivera Cruz delivered a solid performance in her two starts, pitching for 13 innings and registering 4 strikeouts with 6 earned runs.

  1. Cuba (1-4)

Cuba’s fortunes could have taken a different turn if they had managed to upset Venezuela in their nail-biting encounter. Yanet Cruz pitched the entire game, matching Natera pitch-for-pitch, until the decisive game-winning bunt. Catcher Yordanka Rodríguez León, a veteran of Team Cuba since 2012, performed admirably at the plate, going 5-for-11 with 2 RBIs.

  1. France (0-5)

Although the standings may not reflect it, this was an impressive debut for France, making their first-ever appearance in the Women’s Baseball World Cup. Ambre Brouard and Amina Taleb led the team with six hits each on offense. However, France will need to enhance their pitching performance in the next tournament as their pitching staff combined for just three strikeouts.

Reference:

https://www.mlb.com/news/japan-wins-women-s-baseball-world-cup-group-b

https://www.wbsc.org/en/news/ix-wbsc-womens-baseball-world-cup-group-b-day-5

https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1140822/japan-chinese-taipei-baseball-world-cup

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