Canada Finishes Fourth at Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship
Published by Gilles LeBlanc
Published on July 22, 2013
(Surrey, BC) The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team finished fourth at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship, defeating the California A’s 1-0 before losing 6-4 to Australia. Team Canada started the day by defeating the California A’s 1-0 with a solo homerun by Jenny Gilbert (Saskatoon, SK) in the top of the sixth while Jenna Caira (Toronto, ON) held the A’s to only four hits. In the second game, Australia put up five runs in the top of the third and that was enough to hold on for the win.
Against the California A’s, Joey Lye (Toronto, ON) drew a leadoff walk in the top of the first inning followed by a single by Victoria Hayward (Toronto, ON), and a deep fly ball to right field by Jenn Yee (North Delta, BC) advanced the runners two second and third. However, the next batter struck out followed by a pop out on the infield as Canada came up empty. California got a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning, but the runner was immediately caught stealing and Caira struck out the next two batters.
Canada put two runners on base again on back-to-back singles by Caitlin Lever (Buffalo, NY) and Natalie Wideman (Mississauga, ON) to start the second inning, but after they were sacrificed to second and third, the next two batters flew out to leave two runners in scoring position once again. The California A’s got two more singles in the bottom of the frame, but Caira struck out the side. From there, both pitchers cruised through the third and fourth innings, retiring the opposing batters in order.
In the top of the fifth, Kelsey Haberl (Burnaby, BC) led off with a single, but was retired on a fielder’s choice before a single by Lye put two runners on base with one out. However, two fly outs ended the inning with the game still scoreless. In the bottom of the inning, the California A’s put runners on the corners with a walk and a single, but Caira induced a ground ball to keep them off the scoreboard as well.
Gilbert led off the top of the sixth with a solo homerun to break the deadlock, and that was all the offence Caira needed as she allowed a walk in the sixth and hit a batter in the seventh, but got four strikeouts over the last two innings to seal the win for Canada.
Box score and play-by-play: Canada 1 vs. California A’s 0
Caira earned the complete game shutout win, allowing only four hits and two walks while striking out 10 batters. Gilbert produced Canada’s only run with a solo homerun, while Lye, Hayward, Lever, Wideman and Haberl all registered singles.
In the second game, Australia opened the scoring with a run in the top of the first inning as they put runners on the corners and scored on a double steal, with the runner at first being tagged out after the run had scored. Australia then loaded the bases with one out in the second on a walk, a single and a hit by pitch, but Canadian starting pitcher Marina Demore (Richmond, BC) forced a ground ball back to her to cut the runner off at the plate, and then induced another ground ball to end the threat. Gilbert and Sara Hopwood (Surrey, BC) started the bottom of the second with singles and were sacrificed to second and third, and after a strikeout for the second out, Meagan Baird (Ajax, ON) delivered a two-run single through the right side of the infield to give Canada a 2-1 lead.
However, Australia did not waste any time in re-taking the lead, putting up five runs in the top of the third inning highlighted by a two-run single by Belinda White, an RBI double by Stacey Porter and RBI singles by Chelsea Forkin and Leah Perry. Team Canada fought back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth, as Gilbert drew a leadoff walk followed by singles by Hopwood and Lever to load the bases with nobody out. Erika Polidori (Brantford, ON) singled to left field to bring in two runs and cut the lead to 6-4, but the next batter hit into a double play and the following hitter hit a ground ball that was misplayed by the shortstop who recovered and fired the ball to the plate to throw out the runner on third at home.
In the top of the fifth, Australia drew a leadoff walk with the runner advancing to second on a passed ball and to third on a sacrifice bunt, but was thrown out at home by Gilbert on a fly ball to right field. Canada was unable to get anything going in the three remaining innings, going down in order as Australia won the game.
Box score and play-by-play: Canada 4 vs. Australia 6
Demore pitched two innings for Canada, allowing two runs on three hits with three walks and a strikeout, while Jocelyn Cater (Delta, BC) took the loss after allowing three runs on five hits in two thirds of an inning. Sara Groenewegen (Surrey, BC) held Australia to three walks and struck out three over four innings and a third of relief. At the plate, Hopwood had two singles and two runs scored, while Gilbert, Lever, Polidori and Baird each chipped in with a single.
In other playoff scores on Sunday, Australia defeated Venezuela 9-2 earlier in the day to set up their matchup with Canada, and Japan defeated the United States 5-0 to earn a direct berth to Monday’s Gold medal game at 7:30pm PDT. Team USA will take on Australia at 5:00pm PDT in the Bronze medal game with the winner going on to face Japan.
Live Pointstreak scoring is available for all tournament games, and live webstreaming is also available for the Women’s International division of the tournament at a cost of $4.99 for individual games or $19.99 for the tournament package. Visit the official tournament website at www.canadiaopenfastpitch.com for live scoring and webstream information.
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