|September 21, 2000
Japan edges out
Blacktown, Australia Haruka Saito homered to lead off
the game, then doubled in the game-winner in the 10th inning
Thursday as Japan knocked Canada out of medal contention with
a 4-3 victory.
Juri Takay struck out six in four innings of relief.
Sommer West made the last out on a hard grounder to third with runners on second and
Japan (5-0) remains the only unbeaten team in the
tournament. With games against non-contenders New Zealand and Italy remaining, Japan is
likely to enter the medal round as the top seed.
Japan keeps improving and as a result, you earn
everything you get from them, said coach Ron Clarke.
Saito led off the game with a homer as Japan scored two
runs in the first. Japan made it 3-0 in the sixth when Miyo Yamada homered.
But Canada (1-4) tied it in the bottom of the sixth when
Hayley Wickenheiser and Sandy Newsham singled and Erin Woods hit a three-run homer.
As soon as I hit the ball, I knew it was a home
run, said Woods, of Vancouver. This is the greatest hit of my career. I was
probably the quickest home-run runner because I couldn't wait to get home.
Heather Newsham, who replaced her sister Sandy in the
seventh, took the loss.
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