ISF Worlds - Playoffs 3
Thursday, July 01, 2010
(Caracas, Venezuela) After an emotional come-from-behind win in the bottom of the seventh earlier in the day against Australia, the Canadian Women’s National Softball team made it a perfect Canada Day by scoring a run in the bottom of the seventh to defeat China 1-0 on Thursday night for yet another emotional win. Canada has now punched its ticket to the Bronze medal game where they will play Japan at 4:30pm EDT on Friday, with the winner of that game going on to face the United States later that night at 7:30pm EDT in the Gold medal game.
After both teams were retired in order in the first, Canada came within inches of taking the early lead in the second. Sheena Lawrick (Calgary, AB) led off the bottom of the inning by reaching on an error, and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jen Salling (Port Coquitlam, BC). Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, ON) then launched a deep fly ball that would have cleared the centerfield fence, but the outfielder reached over and robbed her of a two-run homerun. Erin Cumpstone (Saskatoon, SK) then hit a single off the pitcher’s glove to push Lawrick to third, but the next hitter struck out as China escaped the inning.
Canada kept the pressure on in the third, as Melanie Matthews (Surrey, BC) drove a pitch off the second baseman’s glove to reach on the error, and Caitlin Lever (Buffalo, New York) followed with an infield single to second as well to place runners on first and second with one out. After a fly out by Jenn Yee (North Delta, BC), Lawrick – Canada’s hottest hitter – went down on strikes.
China threatened with two outs in the top of the fifth as a pinch hitter slapped a perfect bunt to second base to break up Danielle Lawrie’s (Langley, BC) perfect game. She then moved up to second on a passed ball, but Lawrie froze the hitter with an inside pitch for a strikeout. In the bottom of the inning, Melanie Matthews forced a one-out walk, followed by a perfect bunt single by Caitlin Lever. However, China retired the next two hitters on a strikeout and a pop up as the game was scoreless through five innings.
Canada missed a golden opportunity to score in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Kaleigh Rafter drove a double into the right-center field gap to get into scoring position. Evelyne Pare (Ile-Perrot, QC) pinch ran for Rafter, and Erin Cumpstone tapped a slow roller and was called safe at first, pushing Pare to third in the process. Danielle Lawrie came in to pinch-hit, and grounded out to third, but pushed Cumpstone to second. Canada then attempted a squeeze, but the batter missed the ball and the runner on third was tagged out retreating to third to end the inning.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Caitlin Lever hit a sinking liner that got by a diving left fielder for a double, and Jenn Yee was intentionally walked, placing runners on first and second. After fouling off several pitches, Sheena Lawrick came through with a single past the third baseman into left field, allowing Lever to score from second for Canada’s second walk-off win of the day in the bottom of the seventh.
Danielle Lawrie was sensational in the pitcher’s circle, allowing only two slap hits over seven innings with three strikeouts. She received a lot of support from her defense, including eight ground outs to Jenn Yee at second base.
With the win, Canada has guaranteed itself a medal, which would only be its second all-time at the ISF Women’s World Championship. The only other medal won by the Canadian Women’s National Team at the event was Silver in 1978.
Please visit the Softball Canada website at http://www.softball.ca for possible live video of the games.
Canada 1 vs. China 0
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