Canada Splits Doubleheader at Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship
Published by Gilles LeBlanc
Published on July 19, 2014
In the first game against the Bloomington Lady Hearts, the Lady Hearts got a single to start the game, with the runner advancing to second on a wild pitch and to third on a groundout. A hit by pitch put a second runner one base, but a pair of groundouts left both runners stranded on base. Team Canada opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the inning, as Larissa Franklin (Maple Ridge, BC) singled, was sacrificed all the way to third and scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Jen Yee (North Delta, BC). The Lady Hearts responded and took a 3-1 lead in the top of the second with a two-run single and a passed ball, but Canada was able to come back to tie the game with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Megan Timpf (Port Dover, ON) was hit by a pitch and Erika Polidori (Brantford, ON) singled before Natalie Wideman (Mississauga, ON) drove in Timpf with a single, and both runners moved up on an overthrow. Franklin then hit a sacrifice fly to left field as Canada knotted the game at 3-3.
The following inning, Canada would take the lead as Yee led off with a double and scored on a double by Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, ON). Canada would go on to add another run in the bottom of the fourth when Wideman reached with a single, moved up to second on a groundout and scored on a single by Victoria Hayward (Toronto, ON). The red and white was not done there, as they added another run in the fifth as Rafter hit her second double of the game, and pinch runner Chelsea Jenner (Abbotsford, BC) scored on a single by Megan Gurski (Dalmeny, SK) to increase the lead to 6-3. Canada got a couple of singles by Franklin and Hayward in the bottom of the sixth but was unable to score, and Bloomington was able to put two runners on base in the top of the seventh but could not extend the game, as Canada earned the 6-3 win.
Box Score: Canada 6 vs. Bloomington Lady Hearts 3
In the pitcher’s circle, Brooke Seneshen (Winnipeg, MB) got the start for Canada and allowed three runs on five hits and a walk with one strikeout in an inning and two thirds. Karissa Hovinga (Edmonton, AB) came on in relief and was fantastic, throwing five and a third innings of scoreless ball, scattering four hits and retiring four batters on strikes. Rafter led Canada at the plate with two doubles, while Franklin, Hayward and Wideman all registered two hits. Yee added a double and Gurski and Polidori each chipped in with a single as Canada produced 11 hits in the game.
Against the United States, Canadian pitcher Sara Groenewegen (Surrey, BC) struck out the side in the top of the first before the offence opened the scoring in the bottom of the inning. Joey Lye (Toronto, ON) led off with a single later followed by a single by Yee, and after Lye was retired at third on a fielder’s choice, Gurski hit a double to score Yee. The Americans got a leadoff walk in the second but could not move that runner ahead, and Canada added to its lead. Timpf led off with a single and was sacrificed to second before advancing to third on a single by Franklin, who stole second to put runners on second and third. Lye then singled to score Timpf and increase the lead to 2-0.
Team USA got a leadoff walk in the top of the third but that runner was quickly erased with a double play on a line drive to second base. Timpf got a two-out single in the bottom of the frame but a pop out to third left her stranded at first. It did not take much time for the United States to tie the game in the fourth, as the leadoff batter singled and scored on a two-run homerun by Lauren Gibson, and that was followed up with a solo homerun by Valerie Arioto as the Americans took the lead. In the bottom of the inning, Canada went right back to work. Franklin led off with a single but was later erased on a fielder’s choice by Hayward, and Hayward went on to score on a triple by Yee to tie the score at 3-3.
Kelsey Stewart led off the top of the fifth with a homerun as the United States regained the lead, and later added another run on a sacrifice fly to make the score 5-3. Sara Hopwood (Richmond, BC) notched a one-out single in the bottom of the inning but a fly out and a ground out ended the inning. After a quick sixth inning, Team USA added to its lead on a three-run homerun by Arioto to increase the lead to 8-3. Yee hit a solo shot in the bottom of the seventh, but that was as close as Canada would get.
Box Score: United States 8 vs. Canada 4
Groenewegen kept the Americans hitless in her three innings of work, allowing two walks and striking out four. Jenna Caira (Toronto, ON) was saddled with the loss, allowing five runs – four earned – on four hits and one strikeout in one inning, while Sara Plourde (Fredericton, NB) allowed three runs on three hits and a walk with one strikeout in three innings of relief. At the plate, Yee had another big game by being only a double away from hitting for the cycle, driving in two runs. Lye, Hopwood, Timpf and Franklin all had two singles, and Gurski added a double.
Other scores of the Women’s International Division at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship on Friday were:
- Mexico 9 vs. NJCAA All-Stars 2 (5 innings)
- Bloomington Lady Hearts 10 vs. Spain (Basque Country) 0 (4 innings)
- Japan 3 vs. White Rock Renegades 0
Team Canada (3-2) will finish the preliminary round against the White Rock Renegades (1-4) at 1:00pm PDT on Saturday before the playoff round begins in the evening. For live scoring and webstreams, visit the event’s website.
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