Canada Gets Two Big Wins at Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship

Published by Gilles LeBlanc

Published on July 20, 2014

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(Surrey, BC) The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team wrapped up its preliminary round schedule at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship with a 10-0 win over the White Rock Renegades, before defeating the United States by a score of 10-6 in their first playoff game. Canada exploded for eight runs in the top of the seventh in its win against White Rock, and scored four in the first and six in the fifth inning against the United States as each of its nine starters registered at least one hit. The win over the United States guarantees Canada a medal, as they will play Japan in the 1 vs. 2 playoff game Monday night.
 
In the first game against the White Rock Renegades, Canada got a two-out single by Jen Yee (North Delta, BC) in the top of the first, but a fly out to first base ended the inning, and White Rock went down in order in the bottom of the frame. Canada went on to open the scoring in the second as Megan Timpf (Port Dover, ON) worked a one-out walk, stole second and scored on a single by Erika Polidori (Brantford, ON). In the bottom of the inning, the Renegades put their leadoff batter on base on an error and after sacrificing her over to second, got a single to put runners on the corners. However, a ground out ended the threat.
 
After a quick third inning, Canada added to its lead with a run in the top of the fourth. Megan Gurski (Dalmeny, SK) led off with a single, advanced to second on an error on the shortstop and a single by Carey-Leigh Thomas (Ohsweken, ON) loaded the bases with no outs. After a pop out to shortstop, Larissa Franklin (Maple Ridge, BC) hit a ground ball to second base to score Gurski from third, increasing the lead to 2-0. Canada pitcher Karissa Hovinga (Edmonton, AB) retired the Renegades in order in the bottom of the inning.
 
Canada threatened again in the top of the fifth, as Yee reached on an error followed by a single by Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, ON) with one out. Gurski followed that up with a single but Rafter was tagged out on the play, and the next batter grounded out to leave two runners stranded. In the sixth, Thomas led off with a single, but a pop out, a fly out to left and a ground ball left her at first.
 
Canada’s bats erupted in the seventh as they put up eight runs. Sara Hopwood (Richmond, BC), Victoria Hayward (Toronto, ON) and Yee all singled to load the bases to start the inning before Rafter, Gurski and Timpf each drove in a run with a single of their own. After a pitching change, Chelsea Jenner (Abbotsford, BC) walked to score another run and Franklin singled in another, followed by a hit by pitch with the bases loaded by Hopwood and a sacrifice fly by Hayward. Yee then pushed another run across with a single to increase Canada’s lead to 10-0. Hovinga closed out the game by inducing a ground ball and struck out the last two batters.
 
Box Score: Canada 10 vs. White Rock Renegades 0
 
Hovinga fired a complete game one-hitter for Canada, striking out eight batters along the way. Offensively, Yee and Gurski each collected three hits, with Rafter and Thomas contributing two. Other hits went to Hayward, Timpf, Polidori and Franklin.
 
Against the United States, Canada jumped out to an early lead as they scored four runs in the top of the first inning. Timpf was hit by a pitch with one out to get things started, and moved to third when Yee reached on an error. A single by Rafter scored Timpf, and after a strikeout for the second out, Hopwood hit a single to bring Yee in to score. Polidori walked to load the bases before Joey Lye (Toronto, ON) hit a two-run single, giving Canada a quick 4-0 lead as they batted around the lineup. Canadian pitcher Sara Groenewegen (Surrey, BC) retired the United States in order in the bottom of the frame.
 
In the top of the second, Hayward got a leadoff single and later moved to second when Yee was intentionally walked, but a strikeout and a pop out to third base left both runners stranded. The United States got one run back on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second, and would then tie the game at 4-4 by scoring three runs in the bottom of the third on a two-run double by Lauren Gibson and a passed ball. Canada got a leadoff triple by Hayward in the top of the fourth, but she was thrown out at the plate when trying to stretch the hit into an inside-the-park homerun. Canada proceeded to load the bases with two outs on a walk, an error and a hit by pitch, but the next batter grounded out. In the bottom of the inning, the Americans took their first lead on a sacrifice fly ball to left field by Michelle Moultrie.
 
Canada responded right away, putting up six runs in the top of the fifth. Polidori led off with a double, followed by a single by Lye to put two runners on base. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and Polidori scored before Franklin singled. After yet another wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third, Hayward drew a walk to load the bases. Timpf connected with a two-run single before Yee cleared the bases with a three-run homerun, increasing Canada’s lead to 10-5. Canada got singles from Gurski and Hopwood, but two ground balls ended the inning. The United States was able to score a run in the bottom of the frame on another sacrifice fly, but that was all they could get back.
 
After Canada went down in order in the top of the sixth, the Americans got a leadoff walk as Jenna Caira (Toronto, ON) came on in relief for Canada. The next batter reached on an error, but Caira got a ground out and two strikeouts to get out of the inning. In the bottom of the seventh, Team USA got a leadoff walk, but Caira induced a groundout, a fly out to right field and struck out the last batter to seal the 10-6 win.
 
Box Score: Canada 10 vs. United States 6
 
In the pitcher’s circle, Groenewegen pitched two innings and allowed four runs on four hits and two walks. Sara Plourde (Fredericton, NB) came on in relief and held the Americans to two runs on two hits and three walks with two strikeouts to earn the win, while Caira closed out the game by walking one and striking out three in two innings. All nine Canadian starters registered a hit, led by three singles by Hopwood, a triple and a single by Hayward, and two singles apiece by Gurski and Lye. Yee had a big three-run homerun and Polidori added a double, while Timpf, Rafter and Franklin all registered a single. Canada produced 14 hits in total against a trio of American pitchers.
 
In the only other playoff game of the Women’s International Division at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship on Saturday night, Japan defeated Mexico 10-2 in six innings.
 
With the win, Team Canada guaranteed itself a medal at the event and will play its next playoff game against Japan at 6:30 PDT on Sunday. The winner of that game will advance directly to the Championship game at 7:30pm PDT on Monday, while the losing team will await the winner of the other remaining teams who will be playing throughout the day on Sunday in the Bronze medal game at 5:00pm PDT on Monday.
 
For live scoring and webstreams, visit the event’s website.
 
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For more information, please contact:
 
Gilles LeBlanc
Manager - Marketing and Communications
Softball Canada
(613) 523-3386 ext. 3105
gleblanc@softball.ca

 

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