Blue Girls no match for mighty Japanese

John Bryan Ulanday - Philstar.com
Blue Girls no match for mighty Japanese

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Blu Girls succumbed to powerhouse Japan, 13-0, to stay winless in two matches in group play of the Women’s Softball World Cup Monday in Castions di Istrada and Buttrio, Italy.

It was a quick defeat for the Filipino batters in only four innings as the Japanese, ranked No. 2 in the world, ran roughshod in the first two innings with a string of unstoppable runs.

Kyoko Ishikawa’s inside-the-park homerun highlighted Japan’s seven runs in the first inning to break the gates wide open right off the bat.

The rousing Japanese start only snowballed in the second inning as Ishikawa tripled into the left field to ignite another six-run spree for a swift 13-0 lead heading home.

Designated player Ishikawa went 2-of-2 at-bat with three runs batted in (RBIs) while top batter Ayane Nakagawa shot 3-of-4 at-bat with two RBIs. Kanna Kudo, 2-of-4 at-bat, chipped in 3 RBIs in Japan’s total domination.

Ace pitchers of Asian champion Japan, led by Yukiko Ueno and Sakura Miwa, made life difficult for the overpowered Filipinos by allowing only four hits with zero runs at all.

As most batters struck out early, Mary Joy Maguad, Nicole Hammoude, Cristy Joy Roa and Alaiza Talisik drained a single apiece only to get tagged out at second base of the fourth inning at most en route to a blanking defeat.

Three-time runner-up Japan improved to 2-0 for second place in Group C behind host Italy (3-0) as the Philippines slid to 0-2 after also bowing to world No. 5 Canada.

The 26th-ranked Philippines, which made it to the World Cup for the seventh time with a fourth-place finish in the Asian tilt, was to strike for a breakthrough win against world No. 22 and fellow winless Venezuela last night.

The Blu Girls have New Zealand and Italy as their last assignment in the prestigious World Cup featuring the best 18 teams with only the top eight advancing to the finale next year, also in Italy.

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