Softball champs in full swing

2011-12-09 10:16

Cape Town - The junior women's softball world championship enters its third day at the Turfhall Stadium in Crawford in Cape Town, with Japan and New Zealand emerging as the early favourites.

After beating China 7-4 after a tie-breaker after eight innings, New Zealand must fancy their chances of reaching the finals. The match ended 3-3. With their fine victory the New Zealanders send out a message to defending champions, the USA, and last time runners-up up, Japan.
New Zealand should have an easy outing on Friday against the Czech Republic (16:30). South Africa will also be in action with their tails up after beating Botswana 6-5 after an exciting tie-breaker on the opening night. On Friday they take on Puerto Rico in the main game (19:30).

South Africa’s coach, Lester Smith, was optimistic about his side's chances.

“Our batting is a bit of a concern at this stage, but we took a lot of confidence from our victory over Botswana,” Smith said.
Fifteen teams are participating in the 10-day event after Zimbabwe failed to arrive. Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa and the USA complete the line-up.
The tournament ends on December 17. The venue was originally planned as part of the city’s 2004 Olympic bid and was recently upgraded s to the tune of R15 million for the world championship.

Friday's fixtures:
10:30 - Russia v Argentina
12:30 - Botswana v Canada
12:30 - Brazil v Australia
14:30 - China v USA
16:30 - Czech Republic v New Zealand
17:30 - Japan v Chinese Taipei
19:30 - South Africa v Puerto Rico 

Thursday's results:

Pool A:
China 4-7 New Zealand

Pool B:
Japan 10-0 Argentina
Australia 9-1 Russia
Chinese Taipei 15-0 Germany