Canada Drops Game to Japan at Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship

Published by Gilles LeBlanc

Published on July 21, 2014

(Surrey, BC) The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team dropped an 8-4 decision to Japan in playoff action at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship. Canada took an early 3-0 lead but Japan took advantage of a few errors to score five runs in the fourth and later added some insurance runs to earn the win. Japan moves on to the gold medal game at 7:30pm PDT on Monday, while Canada will play the winner of tonight’s game between the United States and Mexico in the bronze medal game at 5:00pm PDT on Monday. The winner of that game will move on to play Japan.
In the top of the first inning, Japan got a one-out walk and sacrificed the runner over to second, but a fly out to centerfield ended the inning. Victoria Hayward (Toronto, ON) led off the bottom of the inning with a single, stole second and moved up to third on a sacrifice bunt, but the next batter grounded out to first, followed by a walk to Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, ON) and a ground out to third base as Canada left two runners on base. Japan got a leadoff walk but could not move the runner any further in the top of the second before Canada opened the scoring with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Carey-Leigh Thomas (Ohsweken, ON) led off with a single, followed by a walk by Joey Lye (Toronto, ON) and a sacrifice bunt by Erika Polidori (Brantford, ON) to put runners on second and third. Larissa Franklin (Maple Ridge, BC) singled to score Thomas, and Hayward followed up with a run-scoring single of her own. Jen Yee (North Delta, BC) later hit another run-scoring single as Canada took a 3-0 lead.
Japan got a pair of singles to start the third inning, but the two next batters flew out and after an intentional walk loaded the bases, another fly out kept Japan off the scoreboard. Canada got a one-out single by Lye, but a double play back to the pitcher ended the inning. In the top of the fourth, Japan got right back in the game on a leadoff single and a two-run homerun by Sonoka Kuniyochi to cut the lead to 3-2. Japan went on to put two runners on base on a single and an error before another error produced the tying run, and after an intentional walk loaded the bases, Yukiyo Mine hit a two-run single as Japan took a 5-3 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Canada was able to trim the lead to one run. Megan Gurski (Dalmeny, SK) forced a one-out walk, followed by singles by Thomas and Lye to load the bases, and Polidori lifted a sacrifice fly ball to centerfield to score Gurski from third. A single by Franklin loaded the bases again, but a pop out to first base got Japan out of the inning with a 5-4 lead. However, the Japanese were able to add two insurance runs in the top of the sixth on an RBI singles by Misato Kawano and Yuka Ichiguchi, and another in the seventh on a wild pitch to increase its lead to 8-4. Canada was able to get two runners on base on a walk and a single by Thomas in the bottom of the seventh, but they could not push anyone in to score.
Box Score: Japan 8 vs. Canada 4
Team Canada used four pitchers in the game, as Sara Groenewegen (Surrey, BC) started and allowed two runs on four hits and three walks with a strikeout in three innings. Karissa Hovinga (Edmonton, AB) took the loss, allowing four runs – only one earned – on four hits and a walk with three strikeouts in two innings, while Sara Plourde (Fredericton, NB) allowed a run on two hits in one inning of work. Brooke Seneshen (Winnipeg, MB) threw the last inning, allowing a run on two walks. Hayward and Thomas both had three singles for Canada, while Lye and Franklin had two apiece. Yee also added a single for the red and white.
In the other playoff games of the Women’s International Division at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship on Sunday:
- NJCAA All-Stars 9 vs. White Rock Renegades 2 (5 innings)
- Bloomington Lady Hearts 9 vs. Spain (Basque Country) 1 (5 innings)
- Mexico 7 vs. Bloomington Lady Hearts 2
- United States 5 vs. NJCAA All-Stars 0
For live scoring and webstreams, visit the event’s website.
For more information, please contact:
Gilles LeBlanc
Manager - Marketing and Communications
Softball Canada
(613) 523-3386 ext. 3105
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