23/07/2019 - 27/07/2019

@wbsc   #Softball #RoadtoTokyo  

Hosted by:   NED

Softball Europe Africa Qualifier 2019 - Official Payoff

Brazil wins roaller-coaster game over Cuba, secures Women’s Softball World Cup spot


Brazil defeated Cuba today in a wild 9-inning thriller to secure its qualification to the WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup 2021 and remain in the hunt of the Olympic Games. Thalia Da Silva scored the walk-off run in the ninth on a grounder to second base.

Cuba jumped ahead in the score in the top of the first inning. Elizabeth Robert and Yilian Rondon singled, and Rosangela Jardines lined a double to left field to plate the first two runs of the game.

In the bottom of the second Fernanda Shiroma hit a line drive over the shortstop’s head to plate Barbara Woll, who had singled before.

And in the fifth inning, Brazil tied the game in an exciting fashion. Akamine bunted for an infield hit and took advantage of a throwing error by third baseman Rondon to reach third base, with one out. On the next pitch, Akamine jumped to home plate on a suicide squeeze play, Rebeca Laudino executed a perfect bunt to third base and the runner beat the throw at home plate, making it 2-2.

In the bottom of the sixth, the South American team took the lead for the first time in the game. Woll hit the ball to the right-field gap for a stand-up triple, and Tanaka plated her with a run-scoring single through the middle of the diamond.

However, Cuba retook the lead with a 2-run inning in the top of the seventh. Maidelis Reyes drew a leadoff walk, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. And Yarianna Lopez hit a 2-out rocket to right-centre field for a 2-RBI double and make it 4-3.

Brazil didn’t give up and in the bottom of the seventh tied the game at 4. With one out Akamine hit a chopper to pitcher advanced to third on a throwing error. She moved to third with a grounder and finally, with two outs and a 3-1 count, Gabriela Dos Santos singled to left field to plate the game-tying run.

In the top of the eighth Cuba scored the go-ahead run. With the tie-breaking runner at second, Yairis Diaz bunted to Shiroma and the right-handed pitcher made a bad throw to first, allowing Jardines to score easily.

But Brazil came back and tied the game again in the home half of the first extra inning. Woll started in second, advanced on a slap by Samira Tanaka to shortstop, and scored the fifth run of her team on an RBI double by Leticia Omori.

In the top of the ninth, Brazil’s defense prevented Cuba from scoring. First was Shiroma who stoped a hard hit ball to retire the first out; then second base Tanaka gloved a line drive for the second out, and finally Thalia Da Silva made a spectacular diving catch in the left-field foul zone to end the inning in zero.

And Brazil won the game in the bottom of the ninth. Akamine moved the runner to third with a bunt, and then Cuban Head Coach Jorge Lamas decided to intentionally walk Laudino and Dos Santos to load the bases to face Mariana Ribeiro. However, a grounder to second base was enough for speedy Da Silva to beat the throw at home plate easily and seal the win.

Brazil improved to 2-1 in the Super Round and tomorrow will play against Puerto Rico to keep alive their Olympic hope.