The South Korean women’s baseball team secured second place in its group at the 2023 Baseball Federation of Asia (BFA) Women’s World Cup and advanced to the Super Round to qualify for next year’s World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s World Cup.
Yang Sang-moon’s team defeated the rejuvenated Philippines 9-5 in the third game of the tournament’s Group B at the Sai Chow Wan Baseball Field in Hong Kong on Monday.
With the win, South Korea, which lost to Japan 10-0 (cold game loss) and defeated Indonesia 21-3 (cold game win), improved its record to 2-1 and secured second place in the group behind Japan (2 wins).
Japan, the favorite to win Pool B, will play the final game of the day against the underdogs, Indonesia.
The first and second place finishers in Group B will face the first and second place finishers in Group A, which features Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and India, in the Super Round.
At stake is a spot in the 2024 Women’s Baseball World Cup, the world championship.
Japan, ranked No. 1 in the world and hosting next year’s Women’s World Cup in Group B, earned an automatic berth.
As one of three teams other than Japan to reach the Super Round, Korea punched its ticket to the Women’s Baseball World Cup.
The 2024 Women’s Baseball World Cup will be held in a unique format, with Group A (August in Thunder Bay, Canada) and Group B matches 안전놀이터 (September in Miyoshi, Japan) in 2023 and the final round in Thunder Bay in the summer of 2024.
The Asian Cup winner, excluding Japan, will play a Baseball World Cup Group B match against Japan, Venezuela, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and France in Miyoshi from September 13-17.
The Asian Cup runners-up, also excluding Japan, will play in Group A of the main event.
Against the Philippines, who play a high-powered “American style of baseball,” South Korea scored six runs in the second inning to book a win.
With one out, back-to-back singles by Lee Ji-A and Jang Yoon-seo and a wild pitch by Choi Min-hee put two runs on the board.
In the ensuing two-out rally, a Filipino shortstop error allowed a run to score and then Park Joo-ah, the fourth batter, doubled to right field to extend the lead to 5-0.
Park also scored the team’s sixth run on the pitcher’s wild pitch.
Leading 6-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning, South Korea capitalized on Park Joo-ah’s single, Kim Hyun-ah’s bunt single, and a double steal to pressure the Philippines, then scored a run on Shin Noo-ri’s sacrifice fly.
Park went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored, including a single up the middle in the bottom of the fifth inning with the score 7-3.
Ace Park Min-seong, who is often referred to as the Otani of women’s baseball, like Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels) who doubles as a pitcher in Major League Baseball, pitched four innings of four-hit ball, allowing three runs (one earned) while striking out four.
Lee Ji-sook, who forms a one-two punch with Park Min-sung, earned the save with three innings of two-run ball.