Fri, Jul 02, 2010 - Page 18 News List

US, Japan close in on softball crown, Taiwan eliminated

AP , CARACAS

The US and Japan both won their playoff games in the world softball championship on Wednesday to remain undefeated and in position to reach the finals today.

The US defeated Canada 16-1, while Japan, the defending Olympic champion, beat Venezuela 2-0.

China edged Taiwan 1-0 to eliminate the team from the tournament. Catcher Jia Guo scored China’s winning run.

The playoffs were to continue yesterday with the final scheduled for today. The Americans and Japanese are favored to reach the final, and any other result would be considered a major upset.

The US and Japan are both 8-0 and were also slated to face off yesterday.

Japan beat Venezuela 2-0, taking advantage of poor pitching to maintain its perfect record.

Australia got past the Netherlands 3-2, as Justine Smethurst gave up only four hits and two earned runs during seven innings.

Despite its loss, Venezuela remains alive and was to play China yesterday. Canada takes on Australia.

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