The Philippines provided a thrilling climax to Women's Softball World Cup Group C's opening round stage, with a walk-off win against hosts Italy securing their playoff spot ©WBSC

The Philippines secured their playoff place in Group C of the Women’s Softball World Cup with a dramatic walk-off win in their rescheduled match against hosts Italy in Castions di Strada.

The match was postponed last night due to a thunderstorm with a score of 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth, and after being rescheduled as the last match of the opening round, it provided a suitably dramatic climax.

With the score deadlocked at 5-5 in the bottom of the seventh and bases loaded, a strike was fumbled from Angelu Gabriel was hit back at pitcher Christina Tonioli.

Tonioli threw to base fielder Marta Gasparotto whose fumble allowed Nicole Hammoude to score and gain the crucial point that gave the Philippines the last spot in the playoffs.

The winning score sparked wild scenes of celebration at the Campo Comunale da Softball, and means the two nations will meet again tomorrow in the playoffs with the winner of that encounter earning a chance to reach the Women’s Softball World Cup Finals next year.

Earlier in the day the Philippines kept themselves in playoff contention after overcoming New Zealand 5-3, as Hammoude with two and Gabriel with three, scoring the Philippines runs.

Canada finished top of the standings, beating New Zealand 4-0 in their final game, with Sara Groenewegen and Dawn Bodrug combining to pitch a shutout, while Erika Polidori helped to score two runs.

Japan finished second in the group standings, securing two wins on the final day of group play.

Their first win came 7-0 against Venezuela, with Nodoka Harada and Kyoko Ishikawa among the run scorers while Sakura Miwa pitched a five-inning no hitter.

Japan followed it up with a 3-0 triumph against hosts Italy, including a combined shutout from Miu Goto and Yukiko Ueno.

In tomorrow’s playoffs, the winner of the Japan-Canada match will secure the first spot from Group C at the Finals, while the winner of the Philippines-Italy match will take on the beaten team in the Japan-Canada game in the repechage match, to decide the second team to reach the Finals.