Press release Euroepan Softball Federation
DAY 3: Only one day of the round-robin games remain. New Zealand and Japan have the semifinal secured with their three wins each. Chances are good for Argentina and the Czech Republic. However, Denmark will try to make things a bit more complicated in their last round-robin game against Argentina.
Danish with no chance against the World Champion (DEN 0 : NZL 15)
The first game of the third day was played between the World Champion, New Zealand, and the European representative – Denmark. Starting with two walks, a hit and a homerun, this was not the start that the Danish were hoping for. Kiwis took an early lead 0:3 in the first inning. After a quiet second inning, the Black Sox showed no mercy and let their bats speak. With one run in the third inning, two in the fourth and nine in the fifth, they won the game on a mercy rule 15:0.
„We had a game plan, but it didn’t work out. They are a good team, they have a good hitting line-up. Now we will go home and take a bath,“ said the Danish coach Frode Lindtner
Japan beats Argentina in the seventh (JPN 2 : ARG 1)
World’s number 3 and 4 met in the second game of the day. Japan with no losses so far, Argentina with the World Champion’s scalp. In the second inning, both teams score one run. From then on, on both sides, there were some good hits, but it was not enough to score a run. Until the seventh inning, the score was 1:1. Due to a throwing error on the Argentinian side, the Japanese scored another run on Kantha Nishida´s hit. In the bottom seventh, Argentina didn´t succeed in scoring another run. South-Americans Santiago Carril and Bruno Motroni showed some nice hitting (both 2 for 3) like they have throughout the whole tournament. Japan had four pitchers take part in the game. „Our key hits didn’t come out. We had plenty of opportunities to score, but somehow we couldn’t do it. Our line-up is better than one run, but today it wasn’t,“ said Julio Gamarci, Team Argentina coach.
Japan won the game 2:1.
Nik Hayes one hit away from a no-hitter (NZL 5 : JPN 0)
„Their pitcher was a great pitcher!“ said Tomoaki Okamoto, head coach of Team Japan. Taiyo Kataoka was the one to ruin Hayes’s no-hitter chances. There was no clearly-stronger team during six innings though, the score was 2:0 for Kiwis going into the 7th. It was the last inning when the World Champion’s bats woke up, they scored three runs, also thanks to a bit of hesitation in the Japanese defense. The best batter of the game was Jerome Raemaki with 3 for 4. New Zealand won 5:0.
„With Japan it’s always a tough game, we got mentally prepared. They actually throw the ball really well in corners, but we handled it pretty well,“ said Joel Evans, one of the Kiwi’s team leaders.
The Czechs hold up their semifinal dream (USA 1 : CZE 6)
The Czechs started off strong with a bit of assistance from the USA defense, runners scored on Klein’s and Vacha’s hits. The Czech fans re-lived a moment from the Danish game when Vaclav Svoboda hit a three-run homerun in the fourth. Statistically, though, the US was the better team (hits for 5:4, errors 1:2); Lynch and Palazzo were 2 for 3. But the clutch moments played in the hands of the Czechs. The Czech Republic won 6:1.
„We didn’t get the big hit when we needed it to, kind of struggled. Good pitcher out there, we chased some bad pitches and helped him out a little bit,“ said Kevin Castillo, Team USA.
„We did a great job with scouting, we knew really well what to pitch and I saw it worked from the very start. So from the beginning, I believed we could beat them. And we did it,“ said the winning pitcher Michal Holobradek.