U.S., Japan continue unbeaten marches
CARACAS, Venezuela -- Cat Osterman struck out 10 in a complete game and Alissa Haber drove in four runs as the Untied States defeated Australia 9-2 on Sunday to remain unbeaten at the world softball championship.
"I was seeing the ball really well so I was very relaxed at the plate," Haber said. "I thought I would be more nervous playing such a great team like Australia, but I really wasn't. I think it has to do with the amount of talent on our team."
The United States has won 15 of its 20 games against Australia and leads 5-0 in world championship games. The U.S. has won this tournament six straight times.
Olympic champion Japan also remained unbeaten with a 2-1 win against Canada.
Mika Someya pitched a complete game for Japan with seven strikeouts and no walks.
Japan took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, but Canada tied it in the top of the fifth. In the bottom of the fifth, Ayumi Karino doubled in Shizuyo Hamamoto -- who had also doubled -- to restore the one-run lead.
Canada's first two batters were retired in the top of the seventh, but Melanie Matthews singled to bring the potential tiebreaking run to the plate. Caitlin Lever was thrown out at first on a fielder's choice to end the game.
The U.S. and Japan are each 5-0 with two more games to play in the group stage. Quarterfinals are set for Wednesday.
In other results on Sunday, Taiwan beat Argentina 6-3, China blanked the Dominican Republic 7-0, the Netherlands trounced South Africa 7-0, the Czech Republic edged Botswana 5-4, Venezuela beat New Zealand 5-2 and Cuba overcame Britain 4-1.
On Monday, the U.S. plays the Dominican Republic and Japan faces Britain. On Tuesday, the United States plays the Czech Republic and Japan takes on South Africa.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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