Japan are continuing to dominate softball's Asia Pacific Cup in Blacktown, Sydney, registering two more wins on the second day of competition.
Seeded second in the world and favourites for the event at Blacktown International Sportspark, Japan began yesterday with convincing wins over Mexico (8-3) and Chinese Taipei (8-1).
First up today were Italy, although the Europeans fought incredibly hard.
Having taken a 2-0 lead in the first inning, it looked as though Japan would crush their opponents, but Italy stayed strong and the scoreline didn’t change for the rest of the match.
However, New Zealand weren't so lucky, as Japan destroyed them 8-0 in their final encounter today.
Aussie Spirit - one of two Australian teams in the competition - were also looking to maintain an unbeaten record.
They started today well, with a convincing 5-1 victory over Chinese Taipei.
However, Mexico were a much tougher opponent, with no score until the fifth inning.
The Spirit then took the lead, but the sixth was a painful inning, which Mexico won 3-1, ultimately taking the victory 3-2.
Due to predicted high temperature tomorrow, the Tournament Organising Committee have amended the schedule for the 2020 Australia Pacific Cup— Softball Australia (@SoftballOz) January 31, 2020
Here is the updated schedule ⬇️
Draws, results and standings: https://t.co/Sso4LJVYST pic.twitter.com/d4vlbDXJKs
Mexico also spoiled the home party against Australia A, just edging home 4-3.
Australia A were also defeated in a tight encounter by Chinese Taipei, 3-2.
Japan are on top of the group with eight points, ahead of Aussie Spirit on six.
New Zealand are bringing up the rear and are yet to win a point.
Competition timings tomorrow have been slightly amended due to predicted warm weather, with the final qualification matches taking the mound - the top four go into semi-finals on Sunday (February 2).
After the tournament, Softball Australia will select 23 players to compete under the banner of the Aussie Peppers of Minnesota in the USA National Pro Fastpitch as part of their build-up for Tokyo 2020.