ISF Worlds - Playoffs 2
Thursday, July 01, 2010
(Caracas, Venezuela) Team Canada could not get much going through the first six innings as Australian pitcher Justine Smethurst held them to only one hit, but the bats came alive in the bottom of the seventh as the red and white came back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Australia 3-2 in a thrilling bottom of the seventh inning comeback. With the win, Canada moves on to face China at 7:30pm EDT tonight, with the winner of that game advancing to the Bronze medal game on Friday.
Australia threatened to score in every inning, and wasted no time in opening the scoring in the top of the first. The leadoff hitter reached with a single, and was sacrificed to second and later scored on a double by Stacey Porter for the first run of the game. However, Canadian starting pitcher Danielle Lawrie (Langley, BC) struck out the next two hitters to close out the inning, leaving a runner in scoring position. In the bottom half of the inning, Jenn Yee (North Delta, BC) and Sheena Lawrick (Calgary, AB) both forced two-out walks, but Jen Salling (Port Coquitlam, BC) struck out to end the threat.
Australia went back to work in the third, as the second batter reached on a shallow fly-ball that Jenn Yee seemed to have control of, but collided with the right fielder and the ball fell to the ground. The next batter hit a perfectly placed slap single to shortstop, and both runners moved up on a ground out. However, Lawrie was able to force a weak ground ball to Yee for the third out.
Australia was at it again in the fourth, as the leadoff hitter connected with a double, and advanced to third on a sacrifice. Another double to the right-center field gap pushed the run in to score, increasing Australia’s lead to 2-0. Jenna Caira (Toronto, ON) then replaced Lawrie in the pitcher’s circle, and a passed ball allowed the runner on second to move up to third, but Caira forced a groundout to second to freeze the runner at third, and promptly struck out the next hitter to get out of the inning.
Caira started the fifth by hitting the leadoff hitter, who was immediately sacrificed to second. A walk put runners on first and second, but the next hitter drove a pitch directly into Lawrick’s glove at first for an easy double play.
Canada was finally able to put a lot of pressure on Australia with two outs in the sixth, as Yee forced a walk, and Sheena Lawrick followed that up with Canada’s first hit of the game with a single to left to push pinch-runner Evelyne Pare (Ile-Perrot, QC) to third. Joey Lye (Toronto, ON) pinch ran for Lawrick at first, and Jen Salling was hit by a pitch to load the bases. However, the next batter struck out and Canada came out of the inning empty-handed.
After Australia put a few more runners on base but failed to score in the top half of the seventh, Canada came up for their final at-bat. Veteran catcher Erin Cumpstone (Saskatoon, SK) got things going by leading off with a single to centerfield, and Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, ON) followed that up with a single up the middle. Corrine Doornberg (Langley, C-B) moved both runners ahead with a sacrifice, setting things up for the top of the order with only one out. Melanie Matthews (Surrey, BC) hammered a pitch right off the pitcher’s knee for a single, allowing Cumpstone to score from third to cut the lead to 2-1. Caitlin Lever (Buffalo, New York) then delivered a clutch line-drive over the left fielder’s head to bring pinch-runner Jill Russell in to score from third and Melanie Matthews raced around the bases from first to beat the throw at home to score as Canada eliminated Australia from the tournament.
Earlier in the day, China eliminated Venezuela with a 6-1, setting up a meeting with Canada at 7:30pm EDT this evening. Japan and the United States will square off immediately as the winner will advance directly to the Gold medal game, while the losing team will need to play the winner of the Canada-China game on Friday.
All playoff games are expected to be streamed live at the following link: http://www.vtv.gov.ve/envivo.html. For more details, please visit the Softball Canada website at http://www.softball.ca.
Canada 3 vs. Australia 2: Box Score
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