Japan celebrate after beating Canada 7-1 to secure a place at the WBSC Women's Softball World Cup Finals ©WBSC

Japan and Canada secured their places at the World Baseball Softball Confederation Women’s Softball World Cup Finals after a weather-affected final day of competition in Italy.

The two teams met in the final, with Olympic champions Japan running out comprehensive 7-1 winners in a match that was delayed twice by thunderstorms.

Japan scored four runs in the top of the second inning and from then on were in command against the Tokyo 2020 bronze medallists.

In the third and fourth place game, Philippines took on Italy in a repeat of yesterday’s dramatic final opening round encounter, which the Philippines won 6-5 with a run in the seventh that led to them gaining a walk-off win.

In a rematch at Castions di Strada, Italy earned revenge as they won by the same scoreline in a match that included a delay of two-and-a-half hours for rain.

The winning score came in the bottom of the fourth when a fly ball was struck by McKenzie Barbara.

Despite Mary Joy Maguad at second base making a catch, Alessandra Rotondo, who was on third base, was able to score, giving the Italians a lead they held on to for the three remaining innings.

Canada, as the beaten team in the final, were scheduled to play Italy as winners of the third and fourth place game in the repechage match, which was due to decide the second automatic spot from the group in the World Cup Finals.

Owing to continued bad weather in the area, and the potential late time of the match if it was played, the WBSC decided not to go ahead with the game, citing health and safety reasons.

This meant that Canada secured an automatic place in the World Cup Finals, while Italy were awarded one of two available wildcards, meaning the game’s postponement did not affect who reached the Finals.

China received the second wildcard along with Italy, with these awarded to the two highest third placed teams from the 2018 Women’s Softball World Cup.

Five years ago Italy finished seventh with China tenth.

In today’s match to decide fifth and sixth in Group C, Venezuela overcame New Zealand 4-0, helped by a three-run home run from Yuruby Alicart.

Defending world champions United States and Australia qualified from Group A, while European champions Netherlands and Puerto Rico qualified from Group B.

These four countries join Group C qualifiers Japan and Canada, plus hosts Italy and wildcards China in the Finals.