Pan American Championship - Playoff #4
Sunday, August 15, 2010
(Bogota, Colombia) The Canadian Junior Women`s National Team had a long day as they played three games and spent 16 hours at the stadium due to rain delays and will come home with a Silver medal at the Pan American Championship in Bogota. The Gold medal game was completed at 3:00am (local time).
Canada opened the day with a 5-3 win over Brazil and defeated Puerto Rico 2-1 with some seventh inning heroics to gain at least a Silver medal. Canada advanced to the Gold medal game against the undefeated United States and came up on the short end of a hard fought 3-1 game. Canada also found themselves without the services of one of their left hand pitchers Jocelyn Cater (Delta, BC) as she came down with flu-like symptoms.
Canada advanced to the Gold game with an exciting 2-1 come-from-behind extra inning win over Puerto Rico who had lost to the United States in the winners’ game. Karissa Hovinga (La Vista, Nebraska) threw a gem of a game as she allowed only three hits and struck out six. Hovinga had a no-hitter going for four innings but in the top of the fifth she found her team down 1-0 as Puerto Rico used their first two hits to cash in their only run of the night.
Canada was down 1-0 going into the bottom of the seventh. Erika Polidori (Brantford, ON) led the inning off with a drag bunt and was called out at first on a close play. Jennifer Gilbert (Mckinney, Texas) was safe on an infield slap, Victoria Hayward (Mountain View, California) was also safe on a slap but the ball was thrown past the first baseman up the line and this allowed Gilbert to score all the way from first to tie the game, and Hayward ended up on third base. Puerto Rico intentionally walked Natalie Wideman (Mississauga, ON) and Natasha Szlapetis (Brampton, ON) to load the bases and setup the double play. Pinch hitter Jacqueline Omichinski (Abbotsford, BC) popped out to the catcher and Shannon Davidson (Whitby, ON) hit a line shot down the first base line that was caught by the Puerto Rican first baseman to end the inning.
Puerto Rico started with a runner on second in the eighth due to the international tie-breaker and after a sacrifice bunt, moved the runner to third. The next batter hit a chopper that Canada’s short stop Natalie Wideman had to move to her left, field the ball and she turned to throw the Puerto Rican runner out at the plate as Polidori made a nice tag to get the out. Hovinga then got a ground ball to third to end the inning.
Pinch runner Logan White (Brantford, ON) started on second for Canada’s half of the inning and she moved to third on a passed ball. Puerto Rico intentionally walked Kristy Noble (Uxbridge, ON) and Corinne Brookhuis (East York, ON) to set up the force play but Erika Polidori ended the game with a fly ball to left field that allowed Logan White to score with the winning run.
Canada had many chances to take a lead as they left 13 runners on bases. Natalie Wideman led the way with three hits while Shannon Davidson had two hits with singles going to Gilbert and Noble.
In the Gold medal game, Canada was defeated by a strong American team who were undefeated by a 3-1 score as the United States outhit Canada 8-7. Canada gave up their first run to the USA in the top of the first as their starter Natalie Becker (Waterloo, ON) walked the leadoff batter and she later scored on a single with one out. The United States added one more in the third on a back-to-back triple and double to put the USA up 2-0. In the bottom half of the third, Canada loaded the bases as Noble walked, Corrine Brookhuis singled to right and after two strikeouts, Hayward beat out an infield slap to load the bases. Wideman then popped to short to end the inning.
In the fourth, Canada put two runners on with one out as Szlapetis drew a walk and Brigitte Aizprua (Terrebonne, QC) singled off the pitcher’s glove. The USA then got the next two outs.
The USA extended its lead to three as they added an insurance run after Becker walked the leadoff batter and gave up a single. She was then replaced by Shanna Wilson (Peterborough, ON) who gave up an infield hit to score the run.
Canada, who stranded eight runners during the game, got on the board to make the game 3-1 as with one out, Gilbert singled and moved to second on a Hayward slap back to the pitcher. Gilbert scored on a line drive single to right field by Natalie Wideman. Natasha Szlapetis came up represented the tying run and hit a ground ball up the middle that the USA second baseman made a nice play on to end the game.
Becker took the loss as she gave up three runs on seven hits and struck out five. Wilson relieved her in the last inning giving up one hit and striking out one.
Hayward and Aizprua both had two hits for Canada with singles going to Gilbert, Wideman, Brookhuis.
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