Host Chinese Taipei defeated the United States World University team 4-2 on Thursday in a match-up of the only two undefeated teams in the tournament.
Under the ISF-sanctioned playoff system, the teams will meet again Friday with the winner advancing to Saturday’s gold medal game.
The USA struck in the top of the first when Lindsay Schutzler led off with a walk and advanced to third on a fielder’s choice by Christina Clark. Schutzler put the U.S. on top 1-0 as she scored when Jackie Rinehart, pinch-running for Clark, got thrown out trying to steal second.
The United States’ early run did not survive the opening frame as Chinese Taipei used timely hitting and defensive miscues to take a 2-1 lead off Team USA starter Brianne McGowan. Chen Miao Yi tripled and scored on an RBI triple by Lai Meng Ting. Ting later scored on an error by USA shortstop Courtney Bures.
The host squad expanded the lead to 3-1 with a two-out run in the second. Chen, who reached safely in three at-bats, began the two-out rally with a single. She scored Chinese Taipei’s third run of the contest as Lai reached on a throwing error by USA catcher Callista Balko.
Taipei pitcher Wu Chia Yen allowed two singles, one to Balko and the other to Fekete, the following two innings. Fekete finished the game with a perfect 4-for-4 offensive outing.
Angela Tincher took over in the circle for the USA to start the third and gave the U.S. squad a chance to rally. Cambria Miranda lifted the USA spirits with a line drive home run in the fourth inning that cut the host team lead to a single run at 3-2. Katie Cochran kept the rally going as she followed with a single to left. Balko and Norelle Dickson joined Cochran on base after being hit by a pitch and walked, respectively, but the Red, White and Blue left the bases loaded with the tying and lead runs.
Chinese Taipei cushioned its lead to the final 4-2 margin in the fifth off a single by Lai that scored Chen.
Click here to follow the United States in the World University Games.