Japan get the better of Spirit as a sweltering Day 2 comes to a close

Japan celebrate - Photo courtesy of Luis Veniegra Photography

Japan get the better of Spirit as a sweltering Day 2 comes to a close

Down Under Series Day 2 – Results

After the heat in Sydney topped 40 degrees throughout the day it was always going to be a tough slog out on the diamonds as teams battled through a double header at Blacktown International Sportspark.

The Japan team continued their dominance in their first game as they knocked over NZ with an 8-1 win. Mikiko Eguchi (JPN) the standout with 3 hits from her 3 at bats and 2 RBIs. Over on diamond 2, the Aussie Spirit took care of the All-Stars in similarly one-sided affair winning 7-0. The less experienced All-Stars had no answer to national team veterans Stacey Porter, Clare Warwick and Kaia Parnaby who dominated the contest.

The wins to Japan and Aussie Spirit was a great lead in to the 7:30pm game that many may expect to be a grand final preview. The game, which was live-streamed (re-play is viewable now), was the first genuine close fought contest of the series as both sides persisted through the heat for 7 innings not letting each other gain an obvious advantage. An sacrifice bunt error in the bottom of the second cost the Aussies a run as Natsuko Sugama crossed the plate.

With 5 hits in total across both teams it was a pitchers dominated game with Ellen Roberts performing admirably for the Spirit for all 6 innings. Japan spread their pitching load across three pitchers but Australia could not get bat on ball as the early run to Japan could not be chased down. Ball game ended a 1-0 contest, with the spoil going to the Japanese.

In the other 7:30pm game the All-Stars picked up their first win with a 7-0 victory over NZ. Aussies Jess Torpey (3 RBIS) and pitcher Simone Freeman were the standouts.

Game 3 Japan 8, New Zealand 1
Game 4 All-Stars 0, Aussie Spirit 7
Game 5 Japan 1, Aussie Spirit 0
Game 6 All-Stars 7, New Zealand 0