By Emily Goddard

Japan have extended their winning streak at the Women's Softball World Championship ©AFP/Getty ImagesDefending champions Japan have extended their winning streak at the Women's Softball World Championship with a 9-0 victory over New Zealand on the fourth day of action in Haarlem.

The game, which started more than four hours later than scheduled due to wet weather in the Dutch city, saw Japan move closer to a place in the playoffs as they scored twice in the first at-bat with two outs when Misato Kawano and Nozomi Nagasaki respectively scored on an error following singles by Yuka Ichiguchi and  Haruna Sakamoto.

Rie Nagayoshi added a third run in the third inning, before Yu Yamamoto, Minami Sato, Yukiyo Mine, Nagayoshi and Sayaka Mori ensured a six-run rally in the fourth to decide the game.

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic's winning run came to an end at the hands of Russia, who held onto an early lead to take the game 3-0, while Italy defeated Botswana 6-0 in the another match that was delayed by rain.

Australia, third at the last edition of the tournament in 2012, overcame hosts The Netherlands 4-0 and remain unbeaten.

The first three innings remained scoreless before the ultimate winners broke the tie in the third at bat.

Lead-off hitter Jodie Bowering was hit by a pitch and moved on a sacrifice bunt by Brenda De Blaes, but was unable to advance on a single by Chelsea Forkin.

The two runners then put on some spectacular base running, closely running behind each other scoring on a double by Rachel Lack.

Lack's double led to a pitching change, but she later scored the third run in the at-bat when pinch-hitter Erin Thras reached on an error.

The fourth Australian run came in the sixth inning when Jade Wall singled and scored on a two-out single by Leigh Godfrey.

The United States defeated Great Britain 11-0 ©Haarlem 2014The United States defeated Great Britain 11-0 ©Haarlem 2014

The United States, runners-up in 2012, maintained their winning form to defeat Great Britain 11-0.

They scored five runs in the first inning, before a wild pitch accounted for the lone run in the second inning.

Another five-run rally followed in the third at bat, while Tahli Moore was the only base runner for Britain.

The Canada versus China, Chinese Taipei versus Dominican Republic and Cuba versus Puerto Rico games were all cancelled due to the heavy rain and rescheduled for tomorrow.

The Women's Softball World Championship is scheduled to continue until on Sunday (August 24).

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