Canadian Open - Game 2
Sunday, July 10, 2011(Surrey, BC) The Canadian Senior Women`s National Team suffered its first loss of the 2011 Scotiabank Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship, losing by a score of 2-0 to Japan in a very tight game. Both teams made several great plays to keep the score close, but Japan took advantage of a few mistakes to earn the win.
Right from the beginning of the game, both teams gave an indication that this would be a very tight contest. Japan was back in action after a 1-0 win in nine innings late last night, while Canada was coming off an 8-1 win over Venezuela earlier in the evening.
In the first inning, Japan managed to force a two out walk followed by a single, but the lead runner was thrown out by Melanie Matthews (Surrey, BC) from left field to third base to end the inning. Matthews then proceeded to lead off with a single in the bottom of the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice, but after a walk to Jenn Yee (North Delta, BC), Kaleigh Rafter grounded into a double play to end the threat.
In the second, Maki Tanigawa led off with a single, but was thrown out at first base when the next batter failed a bunt attempt. In the bottom of the frame, Jill Russell (London, ON) managed a two-out single, but the next hitter flew out to end the inning. The following inning, each team was able to get one runner on base, with Japan getting one on an error and Canada getting a single by Hannah Schwarz (Scarborough, ON), but neither team was able to push them in to score. Canada managed another single in the fourth by Kelsey Haberl (Burnaby, BC), but Japanese starting pitcher Naomi Miyamoto struck out the next two hitters to leave her stranded.
Japan mounted a two-run rally in the top of the fifth by loading the bases with two singles and a walk, but Sarah Phillips (Mississauga, ON) forced a groundout back to herself to leave three runners on base. In the bottom half of the inning, Melanie Matthews notched her second hit of the game followed by a hit by pitch by Megan Timpf (Port Dover, ON) with two outs, but a groundout once again ended the Canadian threat.
Japan finally got on the board in the top of the 6th inning, when leadoff hitter Maki Furuta drove a deep fly ball to left field that was mishandled by the outfielder, allowing her to reach second base. The runner advanced to third on a sacrifice to first base, and then scored on a single by Maki Tanigawa. Team Japan then added an insurance run in the seventh on an RBI single by Misa Okubo to extend the lead to 2-0 before shutting Canada down in the bottom of the seventh to preserve the win.
Karissa Hovinga (Edmonton, AB) pitched four strong innings for Canada, allowing only two hits and a walk with one strikeout. Sarah Phillips took the loss by allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits and three walks, striking out three batters. At the plate, Melanie Matthews led the way with two singles, with other hits coming from Kelsey Haberl, Hannah Schwarz and Jill Russell.
Canada will be back in action later today when they will take on Australia at 6:30pm PDT.
Canada 0 vs. Japan 1 – Box Score and Play by Play
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