Canada Drops First Playoff Game to United States at Pan American Championship
Published by Gilles LeBlanc
Published on August 17, 2013
(Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) After a lengthy rain delay pushed the game’s start time back from 2:00pm to 10:00pm EDT, the Canadian Senior Women’s National Team dropped an 8-2 decision to the United States to open the playoff round at the VIII Pan American Championship in Puerto Rico. The Americans took advantage of two errors and scored seven runs in the top of the second inning to take control of the game while Canada produced two runs on seven hits and left eight runners on base.
In the top of the first inning, Lauren Gibson drew a two-out walk and stole second base for the United States, but the next batter struck out. Jen Yee (North Delta, BC) hit a two-out single in the bottom of the inning but she was also left on base after a strikeout. USA opened the scoring in a big way in the second as Valerie Arioto led off with a double and later scored on an error. After the batter that reached on the error stole second base, Lindsey Ziegenhirt double to push her in to score and the following batter also reached on an error before a walk loaded the bases with one out. A single, a walk and a sacrifice fly ball pushed three more runs across for the United States before another walk loaded the bases again, and Lauren Chamberlain followed with a two-run single to give USA a 7-0 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Jenny Gilbert (Saskatoon, SK) forced a one-out walk, but a strikeout and a ground out by the two next batters stranded her on first.
Canada got on the scoreboard by scoring a run in the bottom of the third. Natalie Wideman (Mississauga, ON) led off with an infield single but was retired on a fielder’s choice. After a fly out for the second out of the inning, Yee singled to put runners at first and second and Heather Ebert (Rosthern, SK) singled to right field to score the lead runner. The following inning, Gilbert led off with a single but she was unable to advance any further on a pair of fly outs and a strikeout. USA put two runners on base on a pair of walks in the top of the fifth, but a pair of fly outs got Canada out of the inning. Caitlin Lever (Buffalo, NY) started the bottom of the fifth with a single and advanced on a fielder’s choice with both runners being called safe and Yee walked to load the bases with nobody out. The next batter popped out on the infield, followed by a sacrifice fly to left field by Sara Hopwood (Surrey, BC) to score Lever from third and chip away at the lead with the score now 7-2.
After Canada went down in order in the bottom of the sixth, the United States added a run to its lead on a solo homerun by Ziegenhirt in the top of the seventh. Yee hit a two-out double in the bottom of the seventh, but the next batter struck out to end the game.
Box Score and Play-by-Play: Canada 2 vs. United States 8
Jenna Caira (Toronto, ON) started the game for Canada and was charged for six runs – only one earned – on three hits and two walks with three strikeouts in an inning and a third. Jocelyn Cater (Delta, BC) pitched an inning and two thirds of relief, allowing one unearned run on two hits and three walks. Marina Demore (Richmond, BC) came out to pitch the last four innings, allowing a run on two hits and three walks and struck out one. Yee led Canada with a double and two singles, with Lever, Ebert, Gilbert and Wideman each contributing with a hit.
With the loss, Canada will now face Brazil in an elimination game at 11:00am EDT on Saturday morning, while the United States will face Cuba at 4:00pm EDT in a game between the two teams with two lives. Brazil advanced to face Canada by eliminating Colombia 10-0, while Cuba defeated the Dominican Republic 7-6 to advance to face the United States. The other game on Friday saw Puerto Rico eliminate Mexico with a 10-0 win. As a result, Puerto Rico will now play the Dominican Republic in an elimination game at 1:30pm EDT, with the winner of that game going on to face the winner of the Canada/Brazil game at 6:30pm EDT.
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