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Japan takes 6th straight World Baseball World Cup title

FLORIDA (TR) – Japan claimed its sixth straight Women’s Baseball World Cup (WBWC) title with a 6-0 win over Chinese Taipei at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera on Friday.

Japan got got all of the runs it would need in the bottom of the first. Yuki Kawabata drove home Tomomi Nakada from third with a single. She later came around to score on a single by Nozomi Abe.

Starting pitcher Ayami Sato went five innings, giving up no runs while scattering six hits and compiling six strikeouts. Akino Tanaka went the final two innings to complete the shutout.

“We were not nervous,” said first-year manager Megumi Kitta, according to the WBWC web site. “This was the last game of the tournament, so I told the players they should not think about winning or losing. They were supposed to go out there and have fun.”

Ayami Sato (left) and manager Megumi Kitta
Ayami Sato (left) and manager Megumi Kitta (WBWC)

Sato, who pitched on two days rest, was named Most Valuable Player. ““I was not particularly tired,” she said. “I am not a power pitcher and I like relying on my defense.”

In addition to sealing the team’s sixth straight title, the victor was Japan’s 30th in a row in tournament play. Sato said the incredible run is the result of teamwork.

“We are not particularly strong,” Sato said. “There are teams that have better athletes than Japan. But we work hard and any individual brings his best when we come together as a team.”