Aussies finish Japan Cup on a high with win in final game

The Aussie Spirit players are all smiles after winning their final game of the Japan Cup.

Aussies finish Japan Cup on a high with win in final game

Japan Cup Game Four: Australia 4, Chinese Taipei 1

The Aussie Spirit finished the Japan Cup on a positive note with a come-from-behind win over Chinese Taipei in Takasaki.

japan cup

Spirit players get some relief from the heat in Takasaki.

Sam Poole starred with bat and glove, while Kaia Parnaby pitched another great game as the Aussies won 4-1.

The win meant the Spirit finished the tournament with a 2-2 record, having lost close games to powerhouse softball nations Japan and the USA.

Japan won the final with a 9-1 win over the USA.

In their final game of the tournament, the Spirit struggled early against strong pitching by Yinghsin Lin, who kept the Aussies scoreless through three innings.

But it all turned around in the fourth. After Chinese Taipei had scored a run in the top of the inning on a solo home run by Chiayi Chen, the Spirit batters took a patient approach at the plate and capitalised on some wayward pitching by Lin.

See the box score here.

Stacey Porter set the tone by walking on four pitches and was sacrificed to second by Taylah Tsitsikronis. Rachel Lack also drew a walk, and the bases were loaded when Clare Warwick walked.

Porter scored Australia’s first run of the game on Poole’s fielder’s choice grounder, then Tara Speakman gave her team the lead with a single that scored Lack and Warwick.

That was all the run support Parnaby would need as she continued her stellar recent form. In seven innings she allowed just three hits and one run, with eight strikeouts and only one walk.

Poole added an insurance run in the sixth inning with a home run to left field, capping off a great game in which she also provided the defensive highlight with a stunning diving catch in the fifth inning.

With a 4-1 lead going into the seventh inning, Parnaby induced two groundouts and struck out the final batter to end the game.

Japan Cup Game Three: Japan 2, Australia 0

The Aussie Spirit continued their recent trend of playing well against powerful opposition but coming up short at the end.

Four pitchers – Kaia Parnaby, Sandra Holden, Amelia Cudicio and Gabrielle Plain – combined to restrict the high-quality Japan offence to just two runs. But the Spirit pitchers couldn’t make an impact, with Sam Poole collecting Australia’s only hit of the game.

See the box score here. 

aussie spirit

The Aussie Spirit go arm-in-arm as they take on Chinese Taipei.