Japan won their opening match of the tournament ©Surrey 2016

Defending champions Japan marked the first match of the (WBSC) Women's Softball World Championship with a victory in Surrey, Canada.

The Japanese team, who have won the last two editions of the tournament, found themselves surprisingly trailing Venezuela after Milagros Lozada hit a solo home run in the third innings of the contest.

Yuka Ichiguchi eventually drew Japan level in the seventh, before Eri Yamada scored the winning run of the Pool A match.

The result moved Japan to the top of the three team group ahead of Venezuela, while France lie bottom of the standings.

Pakistan were forced to forfeit their second consecutive match of the tournament, having not yet received Canadian entry visas for the teams’ coaching staff, which has a result the team has not yet travelled to compete in the event.

Their woes meant that the Philippines were granted a 7-0 victory in Pool F, with the Netherlands triumphing 2-0 over the Czech Republic in the second group tie of the day.

The United States continued their stunning start to the competition as their team, silver medallists in the last two editions of the event, beating Austria 15-0.

They occupy joint first place in Pool B with Brazil, who recorded their second win of the competition by easing past Israel 19-0.

Canada continued their winning start to the Championships ©Facebook/Surrey 2016
Canada continued their winning start to the Championships ©Facebook/Surrey 2016

Australia recovered from their opening day loss to beat Switzerland 12-0, while Mexico continued to go from strength to strength in Pool C by thrashing Serbia 15-0.

The host nation boast an unbeaten record after they overcame Ireland 14-0 in Pool D to move to the top of the standings.

Britain claimed a 13-1 victory over Uganda to move into joint second place with the African nation in the pool.

In Pool E, Puerto Rico beat Taiwan 2-0, while Ecuador earned a dominant 14-0 victory over India.

Cuba and China have 100 per cent records in Pool G after recording 1-0 and 5-1 victories over Guatemala and Greece respectively.  

Italy occupy top spot in Pool H after their comfortable 15-0 victory over Kenya, with New Zealand also winning 7-0 against Peru.