Canada Finishes Preliminary Round with Win over Puerto Rico at Pan American Championship
Published by Gilles LeBlanc
Published on August 16, 2013
(Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team completed the preliminary round of the Pan American Championship by defeating the host team from Puerto Rico 5-0. With the win, Team Canada improved its record to 6-1 and finished second place in Pool B behind the Dominican Republic (6-1) and will take on the United States (6-0) in its first playoff game at 2:00pm EDT on Friday.
In the game against Puerto Rico, Jenna Caira (Toronto, ON) retired the host team in order in the top of the first before Canada opened the scoring in the bottom of the inning when Jen Yee (North Delta, BC) hammered a solo homerun over the centerfield fence with two outs to give Canada an early 1-0 lead. Jenny Gilbert (Saskatoon, SK) followed with a single up the middle, but the next batter struck out to end the inning. Puerto Rico managed an infield single with two outs in the top of the second but could not move her any further, and Canada got a leadoff walk and sacrificed the runner to second but could not push her in to score either.
In the top of the third, Puerto Rico put two runners on base with walks and a wild pitch put runners on the corners, but the runner on first was called out for leading off too early followed by a ground out to first base to end the threat. In the bottom of the frame, Caitlin Lever (Buffalo, NY), Victoria Hayward (Toronto, ON) and Yee all singled to load the bases before Jenny Gilbert cleared the bases with a triple to right field. Heather Ebert (Rosthern, SK) lifted a sacrifice fly ball to centerfield to push Gilbert in to score to increase the lead to 5-0. Kelsey Haberl (Burnaby, BC) followed with a single but was retired on a double play to end the third inning.
From there, both pitchers cruised through the middle innings with both teams going down in order in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings before Puerto Rico threatened in the top of the seventh. A walk, a single and an error loaded the bases with one out, but Caira notched two big strikeouts to keep Puerto Rico off the scoreboard and end the game.
Box Score and Play-by-Play: Canada 5 vs. Puerto Rico 0
Caira fired a two-hitter in the complete game shutout, walking three batters and striking out nine. At the plate, Gilbert had a triple, a single and three runs batted in for Canada with Yee notching a homerun and a single with an RBI and two runs scored. Hayward contributed a pair of hits, with Lever and Haberl each chipping in with one.
The win pushed Canada (6-1) into second place in Pool B behind the Dominican Republic (6-1) who defeated Canada earlier in the tournament. Puerto Rico (5-2) finished third, with Mexico (4-3) taking fourth place. In Pool A, the United States (6-0) came out on top followed by Cuba (5-1), Brazil (4-2) and Colombia (3-3). Canada is scheduled to take on the United States at 2:00pm EDT on Friday, with the winning team moving on to face the winner of the game between the Dominican Republic and Cuba (scheduled for 11:30am EDT). The losing team will face the winner of the game between Mexico and Brazil (scheduled for 9:00am EDT).
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