JAPAN FINALLY GETS THE BETTER OF AUSTRALIA
After dramatic losses to Australia at the Athens Olympics and the recent Soccer World Cup, Japan finally managed to get one over Australia in an international sporting competition.
In what was a must win for both teams in order to stay in contention for the Gold Medal, Japan bounced back from their upset loss the night before against Canada to keep their trophy aspirations in tact.
Renee Straumietis started on the mound for Australia and unfortunately for the Roos, the hitting line up from the Land of the rising sun was just too hot in the early innings. Five hits including two extra base hits, combined with a couple of walks, saw them drive in a run in the first and seven runs in the second.
Brooke Maclean relieved Renee in the 2nd and was solid across 4.0 innings only allowing 2 hits and 2 runs whilst striking out 2.
For Australia, Kellie Manzie picked up 2 hits and a run, Katie Gaynor and Samantha Hamilton both knocked in 2 runs a piece, with Sam scoring twice herself. Shae Lillywhite had two singles and run, whilst Amy McCann scored two runs and drove in one.
Coach Kane Longstaff was disappointed with losing a winnable game.
“We had to get into them early given their mindset after their loss the night before. But when you give any team, particularly a team like Japan, an 8 run lead after 2 innings, it puts you in an unenviable position,” he said.
But Longstaff remained positive with the team’s chance against Canada in the Roos final game for the tournament.
TEAM MVP: Kellie Manzie.
In other Day Day 5 action, the USA defeated Cuba 14-4, while Chinese Taipei upset tournament front runners Canada 6-3 in the night game.
The loss for Canada now puts the Japanese and US teams in contention of a gold medal and gives Australia the chance of a minor medal if they defeat Canada on Saturday night.
In Day 6 action, Hong Kong plays Cuba, Chinese Taipei plays the US and Australia meets Canada in what is Australia’s last game for the tournament with a rest day on the final day.
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