Canadian Open Series - Game 1
Thursday, July 08, 2010
(Surrey, BC) Exactly one week after winning two games in the bottom of the seventh to guarantee itself a medal at the ISF XII Women’s World Championship in Caracas, Venezuela, Team Canada dug deep once again by scoring twice in the bottom of the ninth to take a dramatic 4-3 win over the United States. The American team features five members of the World Champion American squad, and is completed by some of the best players in the NCAA ranks.
After Canadian pitcher Danielle Lawrie (Langley, BC) made quick work of the Americans in the top of the first, Canada opened the scoring in the bottom half of the inning. Melanie Matthews (Surrey, BC) singled to lead off the innings, but was picked off trying to steal second. A few pitches later, Jenn Yee (North Delta, BC) launched a solo homerun just inside the right field foul pole to give Canada the early 1-0 lead. However, the United States responded right away, as Alissa Haber, who broke the single-tournament RBI record in Caracas last week, led off the second inning with a double and scored on a single by Megan Langenfeld. Kaitlin Cochran then hit a hard line drive to Sheena Lawrick (Calgary, AB) at first, who made an outstanding play to dive for the bag to retire Langenfeld on the unassisted double play.
Lawrie and Team USA pitchers Jordan Taylor and Blaire Luna cruised through the middle innings, but Canada had the best opportunities to break the tie. Canada managed to get two base runners in the fifth but was unable to push them to the plate, and seemed poised to score with the same situation in the seventh but was once again not able to push home the winning run, taking the game to extra innings.
With a runner starting on second base due to the international tie-breaker rule, USA was able to sacrifice their runner to third and bring her in to score on a fielder’s choice with the throw to the plate just too late to take the 2-1 lead. The Americans were not done there, as the next batter walked, followed by a strikeout, and another walk to load the bases, but Lawrie forced a groundball to get out of the inning.
In their half of the eighth, Canada duplicated USA’s strategy, as Sheena Lawrick sacrificed Jenn Yee to third. Jen Salling (Port Coquitlam, BC) then forced a walk, and Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, ON) was intentionally walked to load the bases. Erin Cumpstone (Saskatoon, SK) then grounded a ball to shortstop with the only play to first for the out, allowing Yee to score from third to tie the game and force the game into the ninth.
In the top of the ninth, USA was once again able to score a run, as a walk and a blocked pitch allowed runners to get to second and third with one out. Jenae Leles grounded out to shortstop to score a run, but Danielle Lawrie struck out the next hitter to limit the damage. In the bottom of the inning, Canada took control of the game as Joey Lye (Toronto, ON) forced a hard-earned walk and Melanie Matthews singled up the middle to load the bases with nobody out. Caitlin Lever (Buffalo, New York) then hit a roller to the pitcher, who forced the runner out at home, then Jenn Yee came up and hit a shallow fly ball just behind shortstop which Lye tagged up on, and the throw was on target but bobbled by the American catcher to tie the game once again at 3-3. Sheena Lawrick then forced a walk before Jen Salling came up and drove a ground ball out of the reach of a diving second baseman to allow Matthews to score for the winning run.
Lawrie threw nine solid innings for Canada, allowing three runs (only one earned) on two hits, striking out 10 and walking seven. At the plate, Melanie Matthews led the way with three hits, while Yee, Salling and Lye each added one.
The two teams will return to action on Friday night at 7:00pm PDT at Softball City.
Canada 4 vs. United States 3: Box score and Play-by-Play
For more information, please contact:
Manager – Marketing and Communications