EDMONTON, Alberta -- Bessie Noll's three-run double for the USA Baseball Women's National Team broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth, and Team USA held on for the 5-2 win over Japan Sunday night. The U.S. improved to 3-0 in the World Cup.
The pitching duo of Donna Williams and Jennifer Hunter held the Japanese to just two runs on two hits. Williams (1-0) allowed two runs in four innings with two strikeouts. Hunter picked up the save, pitching three scoreless frames with three strikeouts.
Team USA struck first, scoring a run on two hits in the first inning. Jill Barrett worked a one-out walk and moved to second on a Michelle Snyder base hit. Tamara Holmes ripped a triple down the right field line to drive in Barrett. The Japanese minimized the damage as they threw out Snyder at home.
Japan got the run back in the top of the second inning after loading the bases with only one out. Williams got Iori Miura to ground into a fielder's choice, allowing the tying run to cross the plate.
After a scoreless third, the U.S. put the pressure on in the fourth inning, loading the bases with nobody out. Holmes started the inning with a double and moved to third on a base knock from Malaika Underwood. Caitlin Everett drew a walk to load the bases. Noll stepped to the plate and drove a 1-1 offering from Yui Shingu just inside the third base line for a bases-clearing double and a 4-1 U.S. lead.
Japan got a run back in top of the fifth to pull back within two, 4-2. Miura lead off the inning with a hit and was standing on third with one out. Tomomi Nishi hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the run.
The U.S. wasted no time restoring its three-run lead, pushing across a run in the bottom of the frame. Holmes collected her second triple of the game and scored on a base hit from Underwood for a 5-2 lead.
Hunter slammed the door in the sixth and pitched around a pair of one-out walks in the seventh to secure the victory.
The only undefeated teams left in World Cup pool play will square off Monday night at 9:30 p.m. ET, when Team USA and Canada play.
Both teams enter the game with perfect 3-0 records. Team USA has topped The Netherlands (10-0), Australia (11-8) and Japan (5-2), and Canada has victories over Chinese Taipei (12-2), Venezuela (14-2) and Australia (5-4).