US beats Puerto Rico 8-1 at women's softball worlds

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ICHIHARA, Japan (AP) — Sahvanna Jaquish hit a three-run homer in the third inning to help the United States beat Puerto Rico 8-1 and clinch first place in Group A at the women's softball world championship.

Ali Aguilar also connected for a three-run shot in the fourth to make it 7-1 and Michelle Moultrie hit a walkoff RBI single to end the game after five innings on Wednesday.

Monica Abbott earned the win after she struck out 11 batters over five innings, allowing only a solo homer by Rivera Claudio in the second inning.

The U.S. improved to 7-0 in the championship which also doubles as a qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Puerto Rico dropped to 6-1.

The winner of the tournament will be awarded an Olympic spot. If Japan wins, the second-place finisher will be granted the Olympic spot because Japan has an automatic berth as host.

Softball and baseball were dropped from the Olympic program after the 2008 Beijing Games but have been restored for 2020.

In Group B, Japan (6-0) faces Australia (5-1) later Wednesday but an approaching typhoon may delay the start of the game.

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