Japan Wins Dramatic End-of-Life Victory Over Venezuela…cruising with all three wins

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asked Sep 16, 2023 in H&E by totositeweb53 (160 points)

Japan's women's baseball team, the 'world's strongest', met Venezuela (ranked 5th in the world) and achieved a dramatic walk-off victory.

The Japanese national team won 5-4 over Venezuela in the third match of the Group B preliminary round of the '2024 Women's Baseball World Cup' hosted by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) held in Miyoshi, Japan on the 15th (Korean time).

In the bottom of the second inning, Japan had an opportunity with 2 outs and runners on first base when a Venezuelan pitcher balked, and took the lead with Ayaka Deguchi's timely hit to right.

However, Japanese starter Akino Tanaka collapsed in the top of the third inning, allowing four runs. Tanaka gave up a hit to the body and a walk in succession with one out, and eventually even contributed a timely hit in the middle of the game, allowing the score to be tied.

He gave up a 1-2 lead when the first baseman grounded out with 1 out and 3rd base on base, and he hit a 1-RBI double and a timely hit in the middle of the game, easily giving up the score to 1-4.

Japan followed up to 2-4 in the bottom of the third inning with one out and first base on Miwa Naraoka's timely double to left.

Japan showed strength from the bottom of the 5th inning. Miwa Tanaka got on base with a heavy hit, Iori Miura got a walk, and with no outs on first and second base, Yuki Kawabata hit a timely hit to right. With no outs on first and third base, Miwa Naraoka tied the score at 4-4 with a sacrifice bunt.

When Japan's starter Tanaka performed poorly, allowing 4 runs in 5 innings, 'Living Legend' Ayami Sato came on in the 6th inning. Sato cleanly blocked both the 6th and 7th innings with a three-way throw. He showed efficient pitching by throwing only 14 pitches in two innings, easily proving why he is a 'Living Legend'.

After Sato allowed no runs in the top of the 7th inning, Japan achieved a dramatic comeback victory by hitting a walk-off hit at the last opportunity to attack in the bottom of the 7th inning.

In the bottom of the 7th inning, leadoff hitter Iori reached base with a single in front of the shortstop, but Yuki Kawabata retired with a fly to right field. The Venezuelan bench sent out the next batter, Miwa Naraoka, who had good batting skills on this day, for an intentional walk. With one out and runners on first and second base, Akari Hoshikawa singled to right, making the bases loaded with one out.

However, Yaya Kojima hit a ground ball, and the runner on third base was out at home. The situation continued with bases loaded and 2 outs. In a tense situation, Nanako Hanabusa hit a right-handed hit in a 1-ball, 2-strike disadvantageous situation, and Iori, a runner on third base, hit home, giving Japan a dramatic walk-off victory.

In the Japanese lineup that produced 11 hits on this day, second hitter and center fielder Iori Miura had 2 hits in 3 at-bats, third hitter and first baseman Yuki Kawabata had 3 hits and 1 RBI in 4 at-bats, and fourth hitter and right fielder Miwa Naraoka had 1 at-bat. 7th batter and catcher Nanako Hanabusa, who had 1 hit, 2 RBI, and a walk-off single, recorded 1 hit, 1 RBI, and 1 RBI.

Japanese starter Akino Tanaka gave up 4 runs in 5 innings with only 1 strikeout, but Ayami Sato pitched 2 scoreless innings and became the winning pitcher.

Venezuela, which performed well against Japan, the world's strongest team, allowed 4 hits, and starter Abril Amaro pitched the ball until the end, allowing 5 runs in 6.2 innings, but allowed a walk-off hit and became the losing pitcher.

Meanwhile, the Japanese national team defeated Puerto Rico, France, and Venezuela one by one, going on a three-game winning streak, and was on the verge of advancing to the super round.

In other games held on this day, Chinese Taipei (2nd place) defeated Puerto Rico (9th place) 12-6 to win all three games, and Cuba (7th place) defeated France (16th place) 11-1 in the 6th inning. The game was won. 


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