The Championship Round got underway today ©Facebook

Japan got their Championship round at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Softball World Championship off to the best possible start as they thrashed Chinese Taipei 6-1 in Surrey in Canada.

The defending champions eased to a comprehensive victory in Championship Group 1, which also contains Britain and New Zealand.

The New Zealand team were able to join Japan in winning their opener as they swept Britain aside with a confident 6-0 success.

Elsewhere, hosts Canada failed to make use of home advantage as they were comfortably beaten 6-1 by Venezuela in Group 4, during which Sara Groenewegen gave up home runs in each of the first two innings.

The defeat puts a dent in their chances of reaching the next round, with Puerto Rico recording a 4-1 victory over Italy in the other match in the group.

"I don’t want to blame it on anything, but the wind was blowing out,” said Groenewegen. 

“Maybe the pitches weren’t really where they needed to be. 

"And they’re also good hitters, so you can’t miss pitches."

Venezuela beat Canada to dent the host nation's chances of reaching the next round ©Facebook
Venezuela beat Canada to dent the host nation's chances of reaching the next round ©Facebook

On her team's chances of progression, she added: "I have full believe in my team and I know we’re working as hard as we can to get those runs on the board.

“We left the bases loaded a couple of times, so we just need to find a way to score more runs when we have runners on and we’ll be fine.”

In Group 2, Australia hammered the Philippines 11-1, while Brazil battled to a 5-1 win over Cuba in Group 3.

The United States, silver medallists at the previous two editions of the competition, make their Championship Round entrance tomorrow when they take on China in Group 2.

The top two from each group will make it through to the play-off stage of the tournament.