The Junior White Sox have upset hosts Canada 2-1 in their final pool game to earn two playoff lives at the world junior women's softball championship in Brampton, Canada.
New Zealand gained a two-run advantage in the second inning, when designated hitter Taylor-Paige Stewart hit out of the park, bringing home third base Kurarua Ratu-James in the process.
The Canadians got one back in the bottom of the third inning, but despite out-hitting the Kiwis 10-3, they could not find a way to bring home an equaliser tying run.
Auckland pitcher Beth Stavert allowed six hits and the only run in four innings, with one strikeout, while Stewart closed the victory out with three innings, four hits and one strikeout, maintaining her 0.00 ERA for the tournament.
Outfielder Ellie Cooper was the only other New Zealand batter to reach base, with a single in the fourth inning.
The result boosts the Junior White Sox record to 5-2 in pool play, matching Canada, but ahead of the hosts on the head-to-head outcome.
Earlier this morning, defending champions United States needed just five innings to overrun New Zealand 7-0.
The Americans have yet to concede a run at the tournament and allowed New Zealand only one hit during their contest - Australian-based outfielder Lauren Tapp managed a single in the opening inning.
By contrast, the US reached base safely 10 times, including two home runs - first base Lauren Young cleared the fence to end the game in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Wellington pitcher Jasmin Kaiaruna conceded seven hits and five earned runs in her two innings.
New Zealand will now cross-over against section B winners Japan (7-0) tomorrow, 11.30am (NZT), while the US face Australia in the other top-of-the table cross-over at 9am (NZT).
- © Fairfax NZ News