Taipei Beats USA 4-2
In a match-up of the two remaining unbeaten teams at the 2nd World University Championship in Taiwan, the host, Chinese Taipei, defeated the USA World University team 4-2 on Thursday. Under the Page playoff system used at International Softball Federation (ISF) sanctioned tournaments, the teams will meet again on Friday at 1pm. The winner advances to Saturday’s gold medal game (1300 Taiwan time).
The USA scored in the top of the first when Lindsay Schutzler (Monterey, Calif./Tennessee) led off with a walk and advanced to third off a fielders choice by Christina Clark (Santa Ana, Calif./Fresno State). Jackie Rinehart (Reno, Nev./Stanford) entered as pinch runner for Clark and got thrown out at second trying to steal but Schutzler scored on the throw down for the first run of the game.
Chinese Taipei took immediate control of the game in the bottom of the first inning when Chen Miao Yi tripled off USA starter Brianne McGowan (Reno, Nev./Oregon State) and scored on an RBI triple by Lai Meng Ting. She later scored on an error by USA shortstop Courtney Bures (Haymarket, Va./Mississippi State). McGowan regained her composure retiring the first two batters in the second on grounders but Chen, who reached safely in three at-bats, began a two out rally with a single. Lai then reached on a throwing error by USA catcher Callista Balko (Salinas, Calif./Arizona) that allowed Chen to score for the third run of the game.
Taipei pitcher Wu Chia Yen allowed two singles the following two innings – one in the second by Balko and one in the third by Sarah Fekete (Maryville, Tenn./Tennessee), who was 4-4 on the day. Angela Tincher (Eagle Rock, Va./Virginia Tech) took over in the circle for the USA to start the third. Despite allowing a leadoff walk, she retired the next three batters in order to keep the USA in the game.
Cambria Miranda (Camarillo, Calif./Oregon State) lifted the USA spirits with a line shot homer in the fourth inning. Katie Cochran (Yorba Linda, Calif./Arizona State) followed with a single to left and Balko was hit by a pitch to put two runners on base. A walk by Norrelle Dickson (Orange, Calif.) loaded the bases but all runners were left stranded and left the USA trailing 3-2.
Chinese Taipei cushioned its lead in the fifth off a single by Lai that scored Chen for a 4-2 win.
Taipei is now the only undefeated team in the tournament with a perfect 5-0, while the USA drops to 4-1