A massive home run by Megan Baltzell - the first in the tournament - confirmed a 3-1 victory for the United States over Venezuela and guaranteed the hosts place in the super round of the Women’s Baseball World Cup in Florida.
In what was the match of competition so far, the hosts defeated the bronze medallists of 2016 with a startling final flourish from Baltzell, whose effort was measured as travelling 110.6 metres with an exit speed of 95.8 miles per hour.
That ensured the US, who finished seventh at the last World Cup but who are now world ranked three, moved through unbeaten in Group A to the super round that starts on Tuesday (August 28) in this World Baseball Softball Confederation event at the Space Coast Complex in Viera.
As do Japan, seeking a sixth consecutive title here, whose lead in Group B was maintained with a 4-1 win over Cuba.
Canada, silver medallists in 2016 who had endured their first defeat at the hands of Japan yesterday, got back into winning ways with a 9-6 victory over Australia.
Elsewhere, the Dominican Republic earned their second World Cup win ever with a 19-1 scoreline against Hong Kong.
Chinese Taipei also recorded its second win of the tournament, 13-0 over South Korea, while Puerto Rico defeated The Netherlands 16-1 in five innings.
The competition is due to continue tomorrow.