By Gary Anderson

February 25 - Can anyone stop the mighty Japan from making it four World Cup wins in succession on home soil later this year ©WBSCThe World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has today revealed the eight teams that will battle it out at the Women's Baseball World Cup in Japan this September.

Three-times defending champions Japan lead the list of nations announced by the WBSC's International Baseball Executives, as they go in search of an unprecedented fourth straight world title after their successful defence last time out in Edmonton, Canada.

The Japanese currently lead the women's world baseball rankings, ahead of the United States, who travel to Miyazaki looking to avenge their defeat to this year's hosts in the last World Cup final in 2012.

That represented a reversal of the result in the inaugural final in 2004 when the US claimed the first of two consecutive World Cup titles, successfully defending the trophy two years later in Chinese Taipei when the Japanese again provided the opposition in the final.

Since then, Japan have been the kingpins in the tournament, overcoming Canada in 2008 and Australia in 2010 before their third success in Edmonton.

Australia and Canada will once again provide the main opposition to the perennial powerhouses, with both nations sitting joint third on the current world rankings list.

Canada and Australia will be looking to put a new name on the World Cup trophy this year ©WBSCCanada and Australia will be looking to put a new name on the World Cup trophy this year ©WBSC

Venezuela sit fourth on the rankings list and will compete in their third World Cup this year, looking to better their previous best of fourth in 2010.

Chinese Taipei will once again compete in the main event as they have done on all five previous occasions while Hong Kong, appearing for the third time, complete the Asian contingent.

Europe's sole representatives will be the Netherlands who will be taking part in their third consecutive World Cup, finishing seventh last time out in 2012, which represented their highest ever placing.

Speaking exclusively to insidethegames, WBSC co-President Riccardo Fraccari said: "The Women's Baseball World Cup in Japan will be very competitive, and I am confident the eight national teams will continue training hard over the next months and will be very excited to be playing in the world-class venues in Miyazaki.

"This is an event that will further shine the spotlight on women's sport and provide female athletes a pathway to excel and showcase their talents on an international stage."

The sixth edition of the Women's Baseball World Cup is due to take place from September 1 to 7.

Miyazaki's 30,000-capacity Sun Marine Stadium and Ivy Stadium, a spring training venue for Nippon Professional Baseball team Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, will serve as the two competition venues.

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