Canada Cup - Championship Sunday
Sunday, July 12, 2009
(Surrey, BC) The Canadian Senior Womens National Softball Team came very close to beating the United States in the Championship game of the Canada Cup, but USA scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to earn the win. After scoring two runs and taking a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth, the Americans took advantage of two costly errors to escape with the win. Earlier in the day, Canada defeated Venezuela 6-0 to earn yet another shot at the Americans in the Championship game.
In the afternoon Bronze medal game, Canada jumped to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first and added single runs in the second, fourth and fifth innings to come out with the 6-0 win. In the top of the first, Melanie Matthews (Surrey, BC) led off with a single, Victoria Hayward (Mountain View, California) walked and Jennifer Salling (Port Coquitlam, BC) reached on a fielders choice to load the bases, setting the stage for a two-run double by Jennifer Yee (North Delta, BC). Sheena Lawrick (Calgary, AB) then hit a sacrifice fly to push the third run in to score.
Canada added another run in the second, when Caitlin Lever (Buffalo, New York) doubled and later scored on a wild pitch. In the fourth, Yee drove in Hayward from second with a single to increase the lead to 5-0, and Jessica Tieszen (Surrey, BC) crossed the plate on an error in the fifth to round out the scoring.
Jenna Caira (Toronto, ON) fired a complete-game one-hitter for Canada, striking out nine batters and walking three. Jennifer Yee was three-for-four with three runs batted in, while Kelsey Haberl (Burnaby, BC) and Caitlin Lever each registered two hits. Melanie Matthews and Jessica Tieszen each added hits, while Matthews and Hayward added stolen bases.
In the Championship game, Canada put early pressure on pitcher Cat Osterman and the United States in the top of the first inning, when Megan Timpf (Port Dover, ON) was hit by a pitch and moved to third on a single by Jennifer Salling. However, Osterman was able to pitch out of the jam by getting the next two hitters to ground out, leaving Timpf and Salling stranded at second and third.
Canada survived a scare in the bottom of the third inning, when the Americans hit three straight singles to load the bases with one out, but Daniel Lawrie (Langley, C-B) forced the next hitter to lineout to third base for a double play. Canada built off that boost as Salling knocked her second hit of the night for a double to lead off the inning, and later moved to third. However, Osterman was once again able to get out of the inning without giving up a run.
After Osterman struck out the side in the top of the fifth, USA opened the scoring with a run in the bottom half of the inning, after Andrea Duran led off with a triple and scored on an RBI groundout by Ashley Charters. Canada did not waste any time responding, as Salling reached on a one-out walk and scored on a fielders choice by Jennifer Yee, who raced around to third on the very same play. Sheena Lawrick also hit into a fielders choice to push Yee in to score, giving Canada a 2-1 lead. USA threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the inning, as Ashley Hanson and Vicky Galindo both hit infield singles, but Canada escaped the inning when Jenna Caira relieved Lawrie in the pitchers circle and induced a ground ball out.
After Osterman struck out the side in the top of the seventh, the Americans came to life in the bottom of the inning. Ashley Charters led off by reaching on an error, followed by a single by Natasha Watley. After a fielders choice forced Charters out at third for the first out, Alissa Haber reached on another error to load the bases once again. Kaitlin Cochran then hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game, before Jennie Finch hit a ground ball, allowing Caitlin Lowe to race in to score from third before Canada could get a force out.
Danielle Lawrie pitched 5 2/3 innings for Canada, scattering nine hits while only allowing one run, striking out two batters. Jenna Caira was saddled with the loss despite not giving up an earned run, allowing one hit over one inning of relief. The Canadian defense committed five errors on the night.
Osterman pitched the complete-game win for the United States, allowing two unearned runs on only two hits, both to Jennifer Salling. She struck out 14 batters.
The United States were awarded with the Gold medal, while Canada was given the Silver. Venezuela took the Bronze.
Both Canada and the United States will compete in the KFC World Cup of Softball later this week in Oklahoma City, OK, as the tournament will run from July 16th to 20th. Italy, the Netherlands, Japan and Australia will also participate in the event. The event will also feature the Mens Slo-Pitch Border Battle between USA and Canada, which will be played at the same venue on July 18th (3:00pm CDT start time).
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