Canadian Open Futures - Playoff Day 1
Friday, July 15, 2011(Surrey, BC) The Canadian Junior Women’s National Team split a pair of playoff games at the Scotiabank Canadian Open Fatspitch Futures Gold (U19) International Championship on Friday, starting the day with a 10-0 win over the Richmond Islanders 93 before being shut down by a fired up Brazilian Youth National Team by a score of 4-1.
In the first playoff game against the Richmond Islanders 93, Victoria Hayward (Toronto, ON) and Jennifer Gilbert (Saskatoon, SK) each drew walks and were sacrificed to second and third by Erika Polidori (Brantford, ON). Cleanup hitter Carey-Leigh Thomas (Oshweken, ON) – who has drove in a large amount of runs for Team Canada in this tournament – laced a double to the left-center field gap to bring both runners in to score. Jaycee Affeldt (Maple Ridge, BC) followed up with a double of her own to right field to bring Thomas in to score, giving Canada a 3-0 lead after one inning of play.
Canada kept things going in the bottom of the second. Kirsten Grant (Oakville, ON) led off with a single and Brigitte Aizprua (Terrebonne, QC) walked, but Grant was thrown out trying to steal third before Jennifer Gilbert slapped a single to put runners on the corners. Erika Polidori then delivered a two-run double to left-center, followed by an RBI triple by Carey-Leigh Thomas. The Canadian team did not let up in the third, as Natalie Wideman (Mississauga, ON) led off with a single and later scored on a double by Shelby Lia (Whitby, ON). Lia scored on a passed ball, and Kirsten Grant scored on a double by Jennifer Gilbert before Erika Polidori had an RBI single to end the game, with a final score of 10-0 in three innings.
In the pitcher’s circle, Natalie Becker (Waterloo, ON) pitched three complete innings, allowing only a walk and striking out six. Polidori and Thomas led Canada at the plate with two hits and three runs batted in each, while Gilbert added a pair of hits as well.
In the game against Brazil, Raquelli Harumi Bianco – who shocked Canada with a 3-1 win at last year’s Pan American Qualifier – was in the pitcher’s circle for the Brazilians. She had the Canadian hitters on their heels all game long, limiting the offence to five hits and only one run.
Despite the excellent performance by the Brazilian pitcher, Team Canada was just as good for the majority of the game. Canadian starter Madison Schreyer (Winnipeg, MB) was just as effective until the bottom of the fifth inning, when a Canadian error and a few hits led to four Brazilian runs. Both pitchers cruised through the first innings until the bottom of the fifth, when Brazil was able to get runners on second and third with two outs. Schreyer forced a fly ball to shallow left field, which left fielder Erika Polidori ran in to catch and dove but came up just short as two runs crossed the plate. The next two hitters hit RBI singles off reliever Jaycee Affeldt to give Brazil the 4-0 lead. After Team Canada went down in order in the sixth, Natalie Wideman hit a one-out triple and scored on a single by Taylor Beck (BC), but that was all Canada could get against Bianco.
Schreyer scattered three hits and three walks in four and two thirds innings pitched, allowing four runs – two earned – with three strikeouts. Affeldt pitched an inning and a third in relief, allowing three hits with one strikeout. At the plate, Taylor Beck had two of Canada’s five hits, with Wideman, Carey-Leigh Thomas and Brigitte Aizprua each getting one.
With the loss, Canada will play the White Rock Renegades 92 in an elimination game at 8:00am PDT at Cloverdale Athletic Park. The winning team will move on to play at 1:00pm PDT, with another game at 6:30pm PDT should the team advance further into the tournament.
Canada (10) vs. Richmond Islanders 93 (0) – Box Score and Play by Play
Canada (1) vs. Brazil (4) – Box Score and Play by Play
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