MADRID, Spain---Chinese Taipei took advantage of four walks and three wild pitches to defeat the USA Elite National Team on day five of the Intercontinental Cup. The 4-0 win advances Chinese Taipei into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed where it will face No. 2 U.S. in a rematch.
“We are obviously disappointed with the loss but realize the tournament starts over when we enter the playoffs,” said head coach Teresa Wilson. “We have to put this game behind us and come out ready to play.”
U.S. starter Jocelyn Forest got into trouble early by walking the lead off batter, who advanced to second on a sacrifice and scored on back-to-back wild pitches. Two more walks to Chiu Ching Lee and Hui Wen Huang was all it took before Forest was removed in favor of Gina Oaks.
Oaks got out of the first inning without any further damage but was tagged for two runs in the third inning. Taipei, who only had one hit in the first three innings, used aggressive base running and took advantage of two U.S. errors to take a 3-0 lead.
The USA’s most promising opportunity to score came in the fifth inning when Tiffany Haas and Catalina Morris singled and Marissa Nichols walked to load the bases with two outs. But following a pitching change, a ground out to the pitcher left the bases loaded.
Taipei added a run in the sixth when Hsiao Chi Lee singled, advanced to second on an error, to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly.
A two-out rally in the sixth where Heather Scaglione and Lauren Lappin reached on singles was ended when Haas popped up to the second baseman.
The U.S. had six hits in the game while holding Taipei to just three, but the squad did commit its first three errors of the tournament.
“I was pleased with the way we hit the ball today, but we still couldn’t come up with the timely hits. That is something we will need to improve on tomorrow when we get the opportunity to face them again,” said Wilson. “
Forest picked up the loss after walking three and allowing one run in 1/3 of an inning. Oaks, who pitched 6 2/3 innings in relief, allowed three unearned runs and struck out eight.
Morris, who was 2-for-3, was the only U.S. player to record more than one hit in the game.
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