Tri Nations Tournament - Japan
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Canada splits pair of games in Japan
In the opening game against the Netherlands, Canada wasted no time putting points on the board, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Melanie Matthews (Surrey, BC) led off with a double, and Erin McLean (Whitby, ON) immediately followed with a two-run homerun. Third batter Jennifer Yee (North Delta, BC) then walked, stole second base and moved to third by tagging up on a fly ball before scoring on a two-out infield single by Alison Bradley (Pinkerton, ON).
Canada added a run in the third, when McLean led off the inning with a single, moved to third on an error and later scored on another RBI single by Bradley. Jennifer Salling (Port Coquitlam, BC) rounded out the scoring with a solo homerun to left-centerfield in the fifth.
Against Japan, Canada fell behind early after three consecutive singles led to a run in the first inning. The rest of the damage came in the third inning, when Rei Nishiyama led off with a single, followed by back-to-back homeruns by Satoko Mabuchi and Rie Sato.
Robin Mackin (Newmarket, ON) started the game for Canada, allowing four runs in five innings of work. Dione Meier came on in relief for the two final innings, escaping difficult situations with runners on second and third in both the sixth and seventh. The Canadian hitters were only able to connect with two hits in the game, a double by Melanie Matthews in the fourth and an infield single by Caitlin Lever (Buffalo, New York) in the fifth. Japanese starting pitcher Yukiko Ueno threw three perfect innings with one strikeout before being relieved in the fourth.
The event was Canadas final games against International competition before the Olympic Games, which are set to begin on August 12. They will continue to train in Japan and will play a pair of exhibition games against local club team, one against Leopalace on July 31st and another against Hitachi Software on August 4th. The team will then head to Beijing on August 5th.
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