The Travelodge Aussie Spirit have kept pace with Asia Pacific Cup tournament leaders Japan after winning both of their games at Blacktown International Sportspark today.
In an all Aussie affair, Australia A took on the Travelodge Aussie Spirit with a competitive game unfolding between the host teams.
The Spirit were first on the board putting up two runs from Tamieka Whitefield and Leigh Godfrey, Australia A answered straight back with Carmelle Sorensen crossing, converting her double at bat.
In the bottom of the 2nd both Whitefield and Godfrey crossed again, a double from Stacey Porter helping them around the diamond. Verity Long-Droppert scored in the 3rd to put the Spirit up 5-1.
Jade Wall converted a Sorensen double to score in the 4th while Stacy McManus scored off the back of a brilliant triple, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Spirit who won 5-3.
“It was a really competitive game which is what we wanted to see so it was really exciting,” said Whitefield following her two run game.
She said the competitiveness shown by both Australian teams was great to see ahead of an important 12 months for softball in this country.
“It was good to see them put the pressure on us and we gave it back to them so it was a good showing for both the teams this week.”
The Travelodge Aussie Spirit got a taste of what their Asia Oceanic Olympic Qualifier might entail when they took on China in the final game of the day.
Pitcher Ellen Roberts kept the Chinese batters stifled with nine strikeouts combined with sharp work in the field for a 5-0 score line in favour of the home team.
The win sets up a blockbuster finish to the regular fixtures of the tournament when Japan plays the Travelodge Aussie Spirit.
Whitefield listed a simple formula to take it to the world number two ranked Japan team.
“We’ve just got to keep hitting the ball hard, driving in runs when we get lead offs on and then play a good tight defence.
“If we keep doing that we’ll have a really good game against Japan.”
New Zealand’s tough tournament continued after they were dealt a tough 10-0 loss by Chinese Taipei.